Cam Newton was on the practice field for the Carolina Panthers on Friday night and showed just how far he still has to come to fully recover from his offseason ankle surgery.
The former No. 1 overall pick was seen limping, per The Associated Press, when jogging over to sign autographs for fans after he completed his first full practice.
”I can’t stress enough that I’m not 100 percent yet,” Newton said, according to the AP, adding: ”It’s just going to take treatment and time.”
Newton remains on track in his rehab, but it is an ongoing process to get back to full health and rushing back and doing too much too early in training camp can open the door for a potential setback, which could put his availability in doubt for the season opener in six weeks.
That is why Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is taking the cautious approach with the franchise quarterback and will slowly but surely knock the rust off and get his Pro Bowl signal-caller back to full health.
”It was good to see Cam out there,” Rivera said. ”He’s a little rusty in terms of his quarterback to running back exchange. But he’s working himself back in and he has to work those techniques. But it was nice to see him make some nice throws.”
”A big thing is developing that footwork and getting that flexibility back in that ankle,” Rivera said. ”As he practices and goes through day by day we have to be smart with it. I think he will work back into shape pretty soon.”
Newton completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,379 yards and 24 touchdowns with 585 yards on the ground and six rushing touchdowns in a bounce-back season that saw Carolina win the NFC South.