Cam Newton rusty, but Panthers lead 13-0 at halftime


The Panthers lead the 49ers 13-0 at halftime.

Cam Newton threw a 40-yard touchdown pass.

Other than that, he looked mostly like a guy who threw two passes in the preseason.

The Panthers better hope their quarterback is just rusty, otherwise there are reasons for concerns about his surgically repaired right shoulder. Newton was 8-of-19 passing for 105 yards in the first half, which is probably about what you’d expect after his lack of preseason activity.

He didn’t throw deep often (the touchdown pass to Russell Shepard was as much bad defense on the 49ers part as anything), and when he did, it was picked off. Safety Jaquiski Tartt reached back for a one-handed grab of an underthrown effort toward Kelvin Benjamin.

Newton made a few plays, but he’s been very scattershot early in this one, missing at least one wide-open receiver for what would have been a touchdown.

The Panthers are playing enough defense against a bad team to get them by, but there will be plenty of discussion about Newton’s condition after this one.