The calendar may say 2017, but the effects of 2016 are still hanging over the Carolina Panthers.
The team on Tuesday said surgeries will keep quarterback Cam Newton, receiver Damiere Byrd and defensive end Charles Johnson out of offseason practices.
Newton’s procedure is obviously the biggest news, and something the Panthers had hoped to avoid. But rest hasn’t healed the partially torn rotator cuff he suffered in Week 14’s win over the Chargers.
C.Newton was out for 1 play vs SD after a helmet-to-helmet. Re-watched every play & this effort after INT is likely when he hurt shoulder pic.twitter.com/wQKUbaUSuI
— Black & Blue Review (@BlackBlueReview) March 21, 2017
“The early parts of his rehab had been going well,” head trainer Ryan Vermillion told Panthers.com. “However, as we worked to advance him into the next stage — the strengthening stage, the throwing stage — he started to have an increase in his pain level and started having pain while throwing.”
Newton will have surgery on March 30 and the hope is he’ll be ready for the start of training camp.
“Twelve weeks following surgery, Cam will begin an early throwing program with me,” Vermillion said. “If he progresses well he will start throwing with the team at 16 weeks after surgery and we’ll go from there.”
Byrd’s procedure, while not devastating, is a setback for a guy the Panthers are hoping can win a role in the slot. The speedster, who will have surgery on Thursday, tore a lateral meniscus in his left knee while working out on his own.
“We saw him for treatment, but he continued to experience pain and swelling,” Vermillion said.
“We will modify what he does in our conditioning program, and he’s projected to be ready to go later in the offseason.”
Johnson, who turns 31 in July, had his surgery on Tuesday. According to the Panthers, Johnson underwent a microdiscectomy after he started to feel back pain recently.
“Following surgery, we want Charles as active as possible while still taking the proper precautions,” Vermillion said. “He will be up and moving around the next day, and we will progressively bring him back.”