Chuck Burton/Associated Press
The Carolina Panthers made a surprising run to the NFC South title in 2013, but after an offseason that ranks somewhere between "catastrophe" and "Seriously? Did someone break a mirror?" the Panthers enter the 2014 campaign surrounded by questions.
Among those questions is the health of quarterback Cam Newton, who has been limited in training camp after undergoing offseason ankle surgery.
Newton told Jonathan Jones and Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer that his rehab is progressing well, although the fourth-year pro admitted he still has pain in the ankle if he moves the wrong way:
It’s like a thump from your mom when you said something that you weren’t supposed to, she’ll thump you dead in your ear or on your head. It’ll hurt for that little second but it’ll go away after 2-3 minutes. It’s a reminder that, hey, you better check yourself.
It's not known whether Newton will see any action when the Panthers face the Buffalo Bills Friday evening, but Newton said he's ready to go if called upon.
“I’m going about it as if I am playing,” Newton said Thursday after practice, per Jones and Person. “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.”
However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted Friday that Newton is "not expected to play," which makes sense. No point in risking a hobbled franchise quarterback in a meaningless game.