Cam Newton’s former teammate blames Panthers for mismanaging injuries

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

A Pro Bowl teammate of Cam Newton says Panthers mishandled his injuries.

Were Cam Newton’s injuries mishandled in Carolina?

Newton, former Carolina Panthers quarterback of nine seasons (2011-19), experienced injuries in his final seasons with the squad and saw his final two seasons cut short because of it. In 2019, after week two he was out with a lisfranc injury. In 2018, midway through the season he played with an injured shoulder for weeks before missing the final two games and eventually undergoing a second surgery on his throwing shoulder.

Through the process, there is one teammate of Newton who says the organization completely mismanaged his injuries. The three-time Pro Bowl player and teammate of Newton for five seasons, 2012-16, Mike Tolbert shared his thoughts with the Athletic.

“They’ve been doing him wrong timing-wise for the past two or three years, if you ask me,” Tolbert told the Athletic. “It goes back to his shoulder surgery. Everyone knew his shoulder was messed up in the middle of the year two years ago. But they wait until offseason gets ready to start to have shoulder surgery. Makes no sense. Timing’s off.”

Mike Tolbert speaks out about Cam Newton’s injuries

Tolbert also explained he could clearly see the report that Newton suffered a high ankle sprain during a preseason game in 2019 was inaccurate. Even from at a distance, he could tell it was more serious than what they were saying.

”I looked at it on film carefully. It’s not a high ankle sprain, you could tell that 10 minutes after the play. You knew it’s a mid-foot sprain, Lisfranc, something like that,” Tolbert said.

While the team brushed off the severity, Newton started the first two games of the 2019 regular season before missing time. It wasn’t until midway through the season where the team decided to place Newton on the injured reserved list and decide to let Newton rest for the season. If the timing was handled better, Newton may have played for the majority of the season.

“But you (Panthers) wait till December for him to beg you to have surgery. He shouldn’t have been out there Week 1 and 2. He shouldn’t have been out there probably till Week 4 or 5, at minimum,” Tolbert says.

Instead, Newton played on an injured foot the first two games of the season. The last bit of tape on Newton has had teams wonder if he really is healthy even when he has shown otherwise on social media workout videos. Newton remains a free agent after he was released by the Panthers on March 24.

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