League report says Cam Newton has knee damage

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Tucked into the league’s report that all concussion protocol procedures were followed regarding Cam Newton‘s fall late in a playoff loss to the Saints is something that could be a bigger issue for them this offseason.

Included in the report was a mention of a right knee injury earlier in the game.

“An MRI of the knee the day after the game confirmed ligament and cartilage damage and very extensive swelling in the knee,” the league report noted.

A Panthers spokesman said this morning that the MRI did not show a level of damage to require surgery.

But his physical condition should be of concern, since he missed all of last offseason following shoulder surgery. That led to a slow start for an offense that was “evolving,” and ultimately led to the firing of coordinator Mike Shula.

With new play-caller Norv Turner coming in, having Newton available for OTAs would be a big help for a team that has significant work to do on that side of the ball. That he doesn’t need surgery is good news on that front.