Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is on the mend from having shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.
Newton originally injured his shoulder back in Week 14 but still played through the final stretch of the season. This, despite the fact that the Panthers were clearly out of playoff contention by that point, owning a 5-8 record.
At the same time, head coach Ron Rivera held out linebacker Luke Kuechly for the remainder of the season after he suffered a concussion midway through November.
Rivera has since defended and explained his decision to let Newton play out the remainder of the season.
“I don’t think I need to reconcile that much, because they’re two different athletes, two different injuries, two different sets of circumstances more than anything else,” Rivera said, per Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk. “The biggest thing more than anything else was listening to what the doctors told us, is the reason we did what we did.”
Newton is coming off of his worst career season to date. He completed a lowly 52.9 percent of his passes while throwing only 19 touchdowns compared to 14 interceptions. Considering he was not playing injured most of the 2016 season, these numbers are quite poor.
Newton’s timetable for return is training camp, which means he will be missing the team’s entire off-season program.