Updates from Sunday, Aug. 24
The Panthers reported Newton's practice status for Sunday:
QB Cam Newton and DEs Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy are not practicing today. G Trai Turner out as well.— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 24, 2014
Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer has the latest:
Newton injury is ribs not back.— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) August 24, 2014
Updates from Monday, Aug. 11
David Newton of ESPN.com previously provided a statement from Panthers head coach Ron Rivera discussing Cam Newton's injury status. The 25-year-old quarterback has been cleared to play in Week 2 of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Aug. 17.
"Cam is on track to do the things we need him to do now," Rivera said. "We've mapped out a lot of things. We're now getting to the point where the work load is going to increase and things are going to change and we're going to do things differently now."
ESPN's Ed Werder continued:
David Newton's article also provided insight into which drills Cam Newton has been participating in during practice:
Thus far in practice Newton has been limited to handoffs and passing, with third-stringer Joe Webb taking all of the first-team snaps on the read-option.
Newton also was not allowed to scramble or ad-lib, a big part of his game.
On Sunday, he did both, tucking the ball on a read option early in team drills and making a nice run to the right side. He later tucked the ball and ran near the goal line when a receiver wasn't open, although the defense didn't make much of an effort to stop him and the practice was not in pads.
Updates from Friday, Aug. 8
Jonathan Jones of The Charlotte Observer provides an update on Newton's status:
Cam walking through in sweats dapping up players. He will not be playing tonight.— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) August 8, 2014
Black & Blue Review passes along this photo:
Caption this pic.twitter.com/Y3Mezlpqks— Black & Blue Review (@BlackBlueReview) August 8, 2014
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com previously reported on Newton's status ahead of Friday night's game:
Jones and Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer added more:
Cam Newton practiced Wednesday less than he had all camp. On Thursday, he practiced even less.
Friday night against Buffalo, he may not see any action at all.
The Panthers have not stated their plan for the starting quarterback in the exhibition against the Bills, but if he does play, he will be very limited.
"I'm going about it as if I am playing," Newton said Thursday after practice. "Do I want to play? I do. I think this is an opportunity for me to play, but at the end of the day I'm sticking to the program."
Updates from Thursday, Aug. 7
ESPN's David Newton reports on Cam Newton's status for Friday:
#Panthers coach Ron Rivera says QB Cam Newton will be limited for Friday if he plays at all. Not committing till talks to trainers.— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) August 7, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Aug. 6
Jonathan Jones and Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer offer a statement from Panthers head coach Ron Rivera discussing Newton's status for Week 1 of the preseason.
"I'm not going to say yes and all of a sudden he's not going to," said Rivera. "And I'm not going to say no and all of a sudden he's going to. I've been told, in talking with the trainers, that we can't make a decision right now."
The last thing any NFL team's fan wants to hear during the infancy of training camp is that the franchise quarterback is not fully healthy, but that's what the Carolina Panthers are getting with Cam Newton.
Heading into his fourth season with a whirlwind of changes around him, Newton was cleared for practice by coach Ron Rivera on Thursday, but the former Auburn star was adamant after activities Friday that his surgically repaired ankle was far from healthy, as captured by Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer:
Cam says he can't stress enough, his ankle still isn't 100 percent. Said it will take time, didn't indicate how long.— Joe Person (@josephperson) July 26, 2014
Rivera was quick to quell any concern over the injury, though, with a long-term focus in a statement to the media, per ESPN's David Newton:
#Panthers coach Ron Rivera has no concern about Cam Newton's ankle and that it will be 100 percent when the season starts.— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) July 26, 2014
The revelation defies Newton's expectations for himself that he outlined in an Instagram post about a month before the beginning of camp:
In the post, he wrote:
Ya boy ACEboog1e excited to be cleared to work out! With a month left until training camp it's no time for half stepping! Thank you to EVERY1 for the support and prayers for my recovery, it's been very frustrating and challenging but Luke 12:48 states "to whom much is given, much is required" and that makes it all worth it! I'm not quite at 100% yet but with the help of the panthers training staff, my personal trainer Nate Costa, and prayers/well wishing support from YOU! ACEboog1e will be ready to boog1e on down by the time we report to training camp! The beautiful bottom pic was of the scenery last night after working out of the Baltimore Harbor at the UA Campus Workout Facility; who couldn't get better in this weather condition!???
This would not normally be a major issue at the dawn of camp for an experienced player such as Newton, but changes to the offense around him require his participation.
Not only did Steve Smith make his way to Baltimore after 13 years with the franchise and three prosperous seasons with Newton, but Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon have also moved on this offseason.
Newton enters the preseason coming off a year in which he completed a career-high 61.7 percent of his passes and tossed 24 touchdowns. However, he has little in the way of camaraderie with a new wideout corps that includes rookie first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin (who could be a star), Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery.
Expectations are high in Carolina after a 12-4 season and an NFC South crown. The sooner Newton is 100 percent and on the field with his new weapons, the better the odds are the Panthers post a repeat performance.