Cam Newton sat out the final two games of the 2018 season with an injury to his throwing shoulder and the Carolina Panthers don’t know if he needs surgery. Owner David Tepper told reporters Tuesday he has “no idea” if surgery will be required.
The big picture: This is an important offseason for Cam Newton and if shoulder surgery is needed he needs to do it sooner, rather than later.
- Newton needed surgery last offseason but put it off until March, missing key portions of the team’s offseason program.
- The Panthers have a young core group of receivers and Newton needs as much time as possible to mesh with them during the offseason in order to hit the ground running in 2019.
Secondary concern: The Panthers must address the offensive line.
- A lingering issue that should have been more forcefully dealt with, Carolina’s offensive line gave up 32 sacks in 2018 along with many more big hits.
- This unit isn’t up to the level it needs to be and hasn’t been in a while. Spending big money on left tackle Matt Kalil proved to be a massive mistake.
- Carolina must build depth in addition to a strong starting five. When injuries took starters out this past season, Newton took a pounding.
Looking ahead: Carolina must find a viable backup
- When Newton was unavailable the Panthers had no chance of winning. Tepper addressed the need for a viable backup in his session with reporters on Tuesday.
- This year’s draft class isn’t viewed as a particularly strong one so going with a free agent could be a better short-term plan.
- Grabbing someone with experience in Norv Turner’s system could be a huge plus.