While the Panthers had a laundry list of players not participating in their Wednesday practice, almost all of them returned to the field on Thursday, with only Colin Jones (illness) and Amini Silatolu (knee) missing practice as the Panthers get ready for the Browns on Sunday.
The bigger question is not who missed practice, but the level of participation for quarterback Cam Newton – after throwing four interceptions on Sunday and laboring to throw passes to the outside and even asking out for the final Hail Mary, it has become clear that his shoulder is still bothering him; although it hasn’t necessarily hindered the offense or limited what they can do – not to this point.
“On Sundays, he’s gotten himself ready and been able to go; as he said, it’s been challenging – it’s been challenging for us,” said offensive coordinator Norv Turner. “He’s doing a good job of it and we’re trying to manage it as best we can.”
While Turner says that Cam’s shoulder hasn’t changed his playcalling, it may have affected his decision-making; the team began limiting Newton to not throwing on Wednesdays after a particularly heavy workload in Philadelphia Week 7 and that ‘new normal’ has continued throughout the season.
Newton did not throw during the media portion of Thursday’s practice – although he felt fine enough to dance – but Rivera indicated during his press conference that he took all of the reps that were assigned to him.
“He did the things that he normally does on a Thursday,” said Rivera. “He was active and moved around well – he did all of the stretching and everything and he took the reps that we had set up for him in practice. I guess I heard Norv expects him to play because he said he’s going to play, so we’ll see what happens.”
Rivera then left the podium, with a reporter asking him if that declaration was enough for Rivera.
“Absolutely. I believe what he says.”
Check out the full injury report here:
|Cam Newton||Right Shoulder||Limited|
|Graham Gano||Left Knee||Limited|