Newton to have shoulder surgery
QB injured rotator cuff in December; rehab attempt fails.
The shoulder nobody — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton included — seemed worried about at the end of the 2016 season will now keep Newton out of upcoming offseason training.
Newton will have surgery on a partially torn rotator cuff March 30 in Charlotte. Panthers team doctor Pat Connor recommended an arthroscopic procedure, which will be performed at Carolinas Medical Center, according to an announcement Tuesday by the club.
Head trainer Ryan Vermillion told Panthers.com that Newton will begin a preliminary throwing program 12 weeks after the surgery. The team website maintained he will be ready for the start of training camp, and Vermillion said Newton can throw in team drills 16 weeks after surgery if everything goes as planned.
Newton’s injury came in Week 14 against the Chargers (on Dec. 11), the team site reported. Later that week, reports surfaced Newton had an MRI on his throwing shoulder, and he did not throw that week in practice.
On Dec. 14, Newton spoke to media and shrugged off his limitations in practice, and it was “nothing to be scary about.”
On Dec. 15, coach Ron Rivera said Newton had an MRI and it came back clean. The team’s report Tuesday contradicts that statement, stating the MRI revealed the partial tear.
Trainers planned to let Newton rest this offseason, according to the report on Panthers.com, and then begin a rehabilitation and treatment program. Newton had multiple MRIs to monitor his progress, and also visited a rehab specialist in Atlanta, the report said.
When Newton began throwing, he reported pain in the shoulder and difficulty with his throws, Vermillion told the team site.
Meanwhile, veteran defensive end Charles Johnson had back surgery Tuesday, the team announced, and second-year receiver Damiere Byrd will have surgery on his left knee this week to repair a torn lateral meniscus.
Saints: Free-agent linebacker Manti Te’o has agreed to a two-year contract, multiple reports said. Te’o, a former Notre Dame star, has played 38 games during four NFL seasons, all with San Diego. Last season, an Achilles injury limited Te’o to three games.
It remains to be seen how the Saints will use the 26-year-old Te’o. Incumbent starting middle linebacker Craig Robertson remains on the roster, and New Orleans also added middle linebacker A.J. Klein in free agency.
Giants: Agreed to terms with veteran running back Shaun Draughn, most recently of the 49ers, and re-signed middle linebacker Keenan Robinson. Robinson, who left Washington to sign with the Giants last season as a free agent, played in all 17 games with seven starts, including the club’s wild-card playoff loss to the Packers.
Steelers: Signed free-agent defensive end Tyson Alualu to a two-year contract. Alualu, 29, spent his first seven seasons with the Jaguars but struggled to live up to his billing after being drafted 10th overall in 2010.
Dolphins: Linebacker Kiko Alonso has signed a contract extension through 2020. The deal was announced Tuesday as free-agent linebacker Zach Brown concluded a twoday visit without reaching a contract agreement.
Falcons: Announced a five-year contract extension with team president Rich McKay, who will also serve as president of team owner Arthur Blank’s AMB Sports & Entertainment.
The Panthers said Cam Newton hurt his passing shoulder Dec. 11 against the Chargers. The quarterback was limited in practice but played the final three games of 2016.