A week after having an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder, Cam Newton declared himself in much better shape than he anticipated.
According to David Newton of ESPN (no relation), the Panthers quarterback said his throwing arm was “better than I thought it would be.”
“It’s good. It’s good,” Newton said during an interview on 680 The Fan in Atlanta. “It’s better than I thought it would be. With so much going on throughout this season, I was in fear to see what actually was wrong.”
He didn’t elaborate on his timetable, and the team didn’t provide one when announcing the successful procedure by team physician Dr. Pat Connor (who also did Newton’s March 2017 repair of a partially torn rotator cuff).
The Panthes shut Newton down for the final two games of the season, but his problems were evident well before then. Throwing deep became a problem for him, and the absence of that element from the playbook became a problem for the team, as a 6-2 start was squandered during a seven-game losing streak.
“That’s what was so frustrating,” Newton said. “It didn’t matter how much I would grunt, how much I would muscle up and throw it, it wasn’t going far. You’re looking at your arm like, ‘Geez, Louise! What’s really the issue?
“You’re looking around the league, guys like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady. Jared Goff . . . these quarterbacks that are saying, ‘I can make that throw. I know I can make that throw.’ And to go to practice and prepare for games and even be in games and you can’t make it physically, that’s something that’s . . . I wouldn’t say humbling. It just takes a hit at your pride.”
Newton said he would feel fatigued as games progressed, and backup Taylor Heinicke had to replace him for a couple of Hail Marys when he was still well enough to play.
The Panthers are hopeful Newton will be fine, but have acknowledged that a more experienced backup option is a priority this offseason.