For the first time since he underwent offseason shoulder surgery in late March to fix an injury he suffered late in the 2016 season, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw a football. On Monday, the Panthers revealed that Newton is back to throwing again with a (over the top) hype video.
Take a look:
According to the team's website, Newton threw the ball 45 times. The farthest the ball traveled? The distance between 10 lockers.
So no, Newton is not 100 percent.
"When I say it's not 100 percent, I'm noting the range of motion part," Newton said, per the team's website. "Like if you sleep with your legs hanging off your bed the whole night, you're going to wake up and be super stiff. Or like sitting on your hands, or sitting in an awkward position and finally getting up and moving -- that's how I feel."
Still, this is an important step in Newton's recovery. Back in late March, when the Panthers announced Newton's surgery for March 30, they said that he'd begin throwing 12 weeks after the surgery. I'm not a mathematician, but it's been roughly 12 and a half weeks since Newton's surgery, which means he's pretty much on schedule. The next step is for Newton to throw with the team, which the team said would happen 16 weeks after surgery.
That gives him a decent chance to be ready for training camp.
"I want to be 100 percent come training camp. There's no doubt that I will be," Newton said. "Shoot, in two weeks, I'll be ready to rock and roll.
"It's just the stiffness, getting the range of motion back, strengthening those joints and the arm. Hopefully, with no setbacks, we'll be good."
And really, that's all that matters here. Newton's an MVP-caliber player who doesn't need to endure the rigors of OTAs and minicamp. The most important aspect of his offseason is making sure he's fully healthy by the time autumn rolls around. Last year, Newton struggled for a myriad of reasons (including his supporting cast and, of course, his own flaws). Among those reasons was his health. He took a beating in the first game of the season and that beating continued all season long. At one point, Newton said he didn't feel safe on the field at times.
His injury issues peaked when he hurt his shoulder in Week 14. He ended up playing through the injury, which is in the process of healing now. So, why did he wait until late March to have surgery?
"I figured it would heal on its own," Newton said. "I was trying to get the proper treatment, overtreatment. Get it stretched, get a massage, get the ice, stem, everything. Over time I was like, 'You know what? It's just not getting better.'
"So when I came back to Charlotte, I got another MRI, and by that time, everything had pretty much cleared up. It wasn't as swollen as it was during the season so they could see and it showed up as a partially torn rotator cuff."
In all, Newton completed 52.9 percent of his passes for 3,509 yards, 19 touchdowns (he added five touchdowns on the ground), 14 picks and a 75.8 passer rating a year after winning the league's MVP award.