Panthers QB Cam Newton returns with TD drive

  • By Around the NFL staff
More Columns >

Cam Newton's return to the field following shoulder surgery didn't last long, but it was productive.

Newton left Thursday night's preseason game against the Jaguars after throwing just two passes, both completions, on Carolina's opening touchdown drive. Newton connected on a dumpoff pass to rookie Christian McCaffrey and a nine-yard slant for a touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin to finish off the drive. The team's coaching staff didn't risk any more action for Newton and brought backup Derek Anderson in for the second drive.

Fans will have to wait until the regular season to see if Newton's arm strength and deep accuracy have been impacted by his surgery, although Thursday night's action couldn't have gone much better. Jonathan Stewart and McCaffrey split the first-team work on the drive with four carries each, a potential preview for Carolina's run-first offense. The Panthers want to give Newton easier throws this season and the dump-off throw to McCaffrey for 12 yards was a great example.

Considering that Newton only underwent surgery in March and has missed much of camp with a sore shoulder, this appearance should be seen as a huge positive. He should be all systems go for the team's opener against the 49ers.