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Panthers “very optimistic” Cam Newton will be throwing by training camp

Darin Gantt

Ron Rivera’s an honest man (sometimes to his detriment), and he hates putting timetables on injuries because he tried to do so once and felt burned.

But yeah, Cam Newton.

The Panthers’ quarterback wasn’t throwing during Wednesday’s OTA session, after having an arthroscopic procedure on his right shoulder in January. And while that’s not ideal, Rivera was sufficiently confident in the situation that he was willing to say he was “very optimistic” Newton would be throwing by training camp.

“It’s a really big not-that-big-of-a-deal,” Rivera said. “With the exception of throwing the ball physically, he does everything else.”

That included a lot of work on the side with the athletic training staff, and working with the other young quarterbacks on the roster (Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen, and third-rounder Will Grier), and hanging around the huddle with coaches while things were being installed.

Because he’s a former MVP, and because last year’s promising 6-2 start flew all to pieces when his shoulder began to go, the progress will be chronicled regularly. But Rivera was clear to say “there is no time frame,” while hinting at the time frame that really matters.