If emerging healthy from one brief exhibition appearance that featured eight handoffs and two short completions defines a successful preseason, then mission accomplished for QB Cam New
ton and his surgically repaired right shoulder.
That was the extent of Newton’s work in a 24-23 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a gameopening 10-play drive that resulted in a 9-yard touchdown pass to WR Kelvin Benjamin.
Using history as a gauge, Newton likely will not play in the Panthers’ preseason finale. He hasn’t taken a snap in his team’s final preseason game since his rookie season in 2011.
“I was very pleased with what we saw,” coach Ron Rivera said of the No. 1 offensive unit with Newton under center instead of backup Derek Anderson. Rookie watch: Secondround WR Curtis Samuel made his preseason debut, catching four passes for 15 yards. He had been dealing with a hamstring issue. ... Second-round T Taylor Moton continues to see extensive playing time with 35 snaps and is making a strong case to be the swing tackle. ... Top pick RB-punt returner
Christian McCaffrey accounted for 38 all-purpose yards on 10 touches, including a 12-yard catch-and-run. He made his debut on special teams, returning two punts for 5 yards. Noteworthy: Starting C Ryan Kalil made his preseason debut after missing the first two exhibitions rehabbing from shoulder surgery. ... Veteran K Graham
Gano handled all kicks for points, converting a 31-yard field goal attempt and the team’s only extra point. ... Look for third-string QB
Joe Webb, if healthy, to possibly start against the Steelers. But Anderson remains solid at No. 2.