Panthers QB Cam Newton Cleared to Throw Amid Recovery from Shoulder Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2019

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who was inactive for the game, celebrates a touchdown reception from the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The Carolina Panthers announced Saturday that quarterback Cam Newton has been cleared to throw at minicamp, which begins Tuesday.

It will mark Newton's first time throwing since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder following the 2018 season.

Newton is set to throw in all quarterback drills and will also "execute a limited number of throws to stationary targets," per the team's website.

Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said, "This is all part of the rehab process. Cam has worked extremely hard this offseason with his rehabilitation and his preparation. He's going to continue the throwing program Tuesday and we'll advance it as we monitor his progress. He's achieved every milestone we've set out for him so far in preparation for this."

In a YouTube video released in February, Newton said he couldn't throw the ball more than 30 yards down the field during the 2018 campaign:

Per Sports Info Solutions (h/t Jared Dubin of CBS Sports), only 13 of Newton's 471 pass attempts last season traveled at least 30 yards in the air.

With the Panthers out of playoff contention at 6-8, Newton sat out the final two games of the 2018 regular season.

Although he was limited, the 2015 NFL MVP still managed to put up strong numbers last season. The 30-year-old veteran completed a career-best 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also rushed for 488 yards and four touchdowns.

Prior to last season, Carolina had reached the playoffs in four of the previous five seasons. Provided he is healthy for the start of the regular season, Newton will look to get the team back to that level.

Newton will rely heavily on the development of the weapons around him as running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel will all be looked upon to take big steps forward in 2019.

If Newton needs additional time to heal up, the Panthers will have a three-way battle between Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen and rookie third-round pick Will Grier for the right to keep the seat warm for Newton.