PHILADELPHIA — Having undergone a shoulder operation before, Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis can relate to what teammate Cam Newton is experiencing after last month’s rotator cuff surgery.
That’s what has Davis so impressed with how the Panthers quarterback is recovering.
Although unable to participate in Carolina’s offseason workout program, Newton is already making enough progress in rehabilitation that Davis has no doubt he will be ready to play in the Week One opener against San Francisco.
While attending an NFL Draft party Wednesday night, Davis provided an update on Newton’s status to co-host Gil Brandt and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
“I’m very pleased with where he is right now,” Davis said. “He’s moving around, running around. You could barely tell the guy even had surgery.
“For it to be a rotator cuff surgery, I think that’s truly crazy. I had labrum surgery a long time ago and the rotator cuff is supposed to be a little bit worse. For him to be doing the things he’s doing right now is unbelievable.”
Newton was initially injured in December against San Diego but played the rest of the season, even though the Panthers were a long shot to reach the playoffs.
Amid criticism that he should have sat out, Newton recently told the team’s website, “Was it smart? People may say it wasn’t. But at the end of the day, I think the bigger picture was I’m one of the leaders on this team. I just want to set a good standard that, listen, the team comes first and I'm just going to put myself in position to try to lead this team as much as possible.”
The injury capped a season in which Newton never regained the form that made him the NFL’s reigning Most Valuable Player for the 2015 campaign. Newton’s completion percentage (52.9) and quarterback rating (75.8) dipped significantly as the Panthers finished 6-10 and failed to make the playoffs after reaching Super Bowl 50 the previous season.
Alex Marvez can be heard from 6 to 7 p.m. ET Thursday and Friday on SiriusXM NFL Radio.