The Panthers were hoping to avoid surgery on their MVP quarterback.
But as weeks of rehab passed and Cam Newton was still having pain after his Week 14 shoulder injury, they decided they couldn’t wait any longer.
Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion told the team’s official website that as they started ramping up Newton’s throwing in recent weeks, he started to have more pain in his right (throwing) shoulder.
“We developed a plan for Cam to take a period of rest, a period of rehabilitation and treatment, and then start a gradual throwing program the first part of March,” Vermillion said. “Cam started his program, and the early parts of his rehab had been going well. However, as we worked to advance him into the next stage – the strengthening stage, the throwing stage – he started to have an increase in his pain level and started having pain while throwing.
“As a result, Dr. Pat Connor (head team physician) felt the most prudent procedure would be to arthroscopically repair the shoulder.”
Newton continued to play after the injury which came against the Chargers, though the Panthers were well out of playoff contention and other players such as linebacker Luke Kuechly were held out after being cleared.
Vermillion said Newton will begin throwing 12 weeks after surgery, and could start throwing with the team at 16 weeks. That makes the beginning of training camp a possibility if everything goes according to schedule, but also leaves a major unaswered question for a team in some state of offensive flux.