In terms of a small amount of work in the offseason, Cam Newton has every reason to be rusty. So does Jonathan Stewart.
Stewart’s handling it better.
The Panthers’ oft-injured running back is coming off last season’s ankle surgeries better than their quarterback is his own ankle procedure in March.
Stewart popped a 17-yard run early, and just scored a strong touchdown, giving the Panthers the offense they need.
Newton’s best play was drawing a deep flag on the Chiefs, as he’s 2-of-6 for 16 yards passing.
Newton missed almost the entire offseason program after surgery on his left ankle, getting some passes in the last day of OTAs. Otherwise, he’s been unable to work with his new receivers, and was on a strict pitch count in training camp, only allowed to run around from the pocket this week.
He’s shown the ability to run for his life a few times, but he’s overthrown a number of passes.
He’ll get better, but having Stewart back will help buy him some time.