In a surprise move, quarterback Cam Newton took part in 7-on-7 drills Thursday during the last practice session of the team’s minicamp according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.
Newton is recuperating from offseason ankle surgery and was not expected to take the field until training camp starts in late July. He has been begging for some football action, however, and head coach Ron Rivera finally gave in. “I think it shows everybody, the team, that he’s coming,” Rivera said. “Nobody expected him to be out here today, except for me, but it was good to see him out there. It was good to see his teammates see him out there.”
Newton’s teammates were surprised to see him on the field and his participation was not full. Understandably he looked rusty and Newton himself described his performance as “real sluggish”. “My mind was moving faster than my body but that comes with time,” Newton said. “I’m excited to get back out there. I’m not 100 percent yet but any progress is good progress for me.” Newton’s appearance was more symbolic than anything else but it is a good sign for Panthers fans. The franchise QB is expected to be 100% by training camp.