CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers hit the practice field Tuesday for mandatory minicamp, and for the first time, fans got to see Cam Newton throw overhand following his shoulder surgery last year.
Newton, who underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his throwing shoulder shortly after the 2018 season, took another step forward in his recovery when the Panthers began their three-day minicamp.
Newton was scheduled to throw during all quarterback drills, and executed a limited number of throws to stationary targets. It’s still unclear when Newton will start participating in team drills.
“This is all part of the rehab process,” head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion told Panthers.com. “Cam has worked extremely hard this offseason with his rehabilitation and his preparation. He’s going to continue the throwing program Tuesday and we’ll advance it as we monitor his progress. He’s achieved every milestone we’ve set out for him so far in preparation for this.”
One clear advantage of having his shoulder surgery so early in the offseason was that the Panthers can afford to take their time with the former league MVP.
We’re still more than six weeks away from training camp, when Newton is expected to be full go.
On Tuesday, Newton threw to stationary targets -- the running backs and wide receivers would stop their routes for him -- and he didn't throw in the full team drills.
It is encouraging that Newton is easing his way back though. Two years ago, rehabbing from shoulder surgery, Newton began throwing at training camp in late July before soreness forced him to practice in a limited capacity the rest of the preseason.
Limited or not, just having Cam back on the field is a boost to his teammates.
“His energy. the excitement having your quarterback out there. There’s no better feeling,” said wide receiver Curtis Samuel. “It’s like when you have a guy go down and he comes back -- just excited about the growth we're going to have together, and we can get it started.”
Over the three-day minicamp, fans will also get their first look at high-profile incoming free agent, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Sports Director Phil Orban will be with the players as they head into camp, watch Eyewitness News at 6 p.m. for complete coverage.
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