Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton finally resumed throwing for the first time in nearly six months after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. The team website features a short video in which you can see Newton throwing short passes to head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion.
“Cool,” Newton said when asked how it felt to throw for the first time in nearly six months, “a lot of anticipation. Obviously, it’s still not 100 percent, but seeing the ball come out of my hand in a throwing motion was good.”
Per Bill Voth of Panthers.com, Newton threw a total of 45 passes, the longest of which traveled a distance equivalent to 10 lockers.
“When I say it’s not 100 percent, I’m noting the range of motion part,” Newton said. “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.”
Head coach Ron Rivera had hoped Newton could resume throwing during minicamp, but that proved to be overly optimistic. Still, Newton’s recovery is right on the original schedule, and exercising caution is clearly a good call here. Any setback to Newton’s rotator cuff injury would spell bad news for the team’s chances of rebounding from a poor 2016 season.
Newton admitted he knew something was wrong during the season last year. And he could have opted for surgery much earlier than he did in March.
“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.”
On track to be “100 percent come training camp,” Newton will continue throwing passes to Vermillion for the next four weeks. If all goes well with no setbacks, Newton will be able to throw to teammates in one month when the Panthers begin training camp in Spartanburg.