Wednesday’s NFL: Cam Newton’s shoulder still worries Panthers
Spartanburg, S.C. — While Cam Newton has been medically cleared to throw at training camp following offseason shoulder surgery, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the team’s training staff will closely monitor the quarterback’s reps, and coaches will script his plays daily.
“We have a plan,” Rivera said Wednesday. “Obviously it will be structured around our installation. So the things that we have going on with our install will dictate what he does.”
The Panthers arrived at Wofford College for their 25th training camp with plenty of questions, not the least of which is the status of Newton’s right shoulder.
It became problematic last season, limiting the 2015 league MVP from throwing more than 20 yards downfield.
When the Panthers needed to throw a Hail Mary pass, Newton was subbed out.
Newton, 30, sat out the last two games of the season after the Panthers were eliminated from playoff contention. He had arthroscopic surgery in January.
When asked if there will be any restrictions on how far Newton can throw the football, Rivera said, “well, we will see.
“We believe he is ready to roll,” Rivera added. “He had a good offseason. He had a good break, from what we are told. Again, the proof is in the pudding.”
Newton’s rehab hardly is the only question the Panthers have following a 7-9 season. Personnel issues abound with several key veterans gone.
Defensive end Julius Peppers and center Ryan Kalil retired, linebacker Thomas Davis wasn’t re-signed, and the team released cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. Between them they had played 43 seasons for Carolina.
Gordon a no-show
Running back Melvin Gordon is officially a holdout as the Los Angeles Chargers get ready to begin training camp.
The Chargers placed Gordon on the reserve/did not report list Wednesday as players went through physicals and meetings. Gordon is going into the final year of a rookie contract and will earn $5.6 million in 2019.
Gordon has gained over 1,200 yards from scrimmage and scored 10 or more touchdowns in three straight seasons. He was sixth in the AFC in yards from scrimmage (1,375), ninth in rushing (885 yards) and scored 14 touchdowns last season as the Chargers made the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
General manager Tom Telesco told reporters the team has made an offer to Gordon’s camp.
Jalen Ramsey, seeking a big payday from the Jaguars, showed up to training camp Wednesday in an armored bank truck.
Ramsey, a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, is entering the final year of his $23.3 million rookie contract. The Jaguars told Ramsey’s agent after June’s mandatory minicamp that the team would not give him a new deal this season. Jacksonville picked up his fifth-year option, meaning without a new deal Ramsey will make $13.7 million in 2020. The team can then franchise tag him in 2021.
... The Buccaneers will open training camp with Jason Pierre-Paul on the active/non-football injury list.
Pierre-Paul, a 10th-year pro, suffered a neck fracture in a single-car crash near his home in South Florida on May 2 and his status for the upcoming season remains uncertain.
Pierre-Paul, who was not cited in the crash, is coming of the most productive season he’s had since suffering a serious hand injury in a July 4 fireworks in 2015.
... The San Francisco 49ers have signed defensive lineman Damontre Moore to a one-year deal.
Moore was signed Wednesday and will join the team when it reports to training camp Friday. Moore spent about six weeks with the Niners this offseason.
Moore was originally a third-round draft pick of the New York Giants in 2013.