The Panthers are going to be watching the clock as training camp approaches, wondering if quarterback Cam Newton will be recovered from ankle surgery.
But the clock on the problem started years, not months ago.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera confirmed what we reported last week, that Newton’s ankle issues dated back to college.
“They went through what they do normally,” Rivera told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “Every year it’s been the same thing for the last couple years. This time when he started, after the rest and everything, it wasn’t getting as well as fast as it had last time.
“They went through the [process], looked at it and decided this was the best course of action for him.”
Newton is expected to miss four months, which will mean he’ll miss all the on-field work of OTAs. That will prevent him from working with Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood and the rest of the TBA receivers the Panthers are sure to bring in before training camp.
But Rivera said Newton, who is expected to be back for training camp, will have a chance to develop chemistry with the team’s new receivers.
“There will be a time where they’ll get an opportunity to work [with Newton], ” Rivera said of all the new faces. “So I’m not really worried about that.”
For now, that group will work with Derek Anderson and Joe Webb, who was signed last week, while Newton takes care of his old problem.