Cam throws deep downfield as Panthers open camp

As Panthers training camp began on Thursday night, something else ended: Cam Newton's long road back to form.

The Panthers quarterback, who has spent the bulk of the offseason recovering from shoulder surgery and reconfiguring his throwing motion, showed out Thursday evening in front of fans in Spartanburg, S.C., per multiple reporters.

Newton was seen throwing downfield to moving pass-catchers in drills, an improvement over his minicamp performance, when the Panthers QB was tossing footballs to stationary wideouts less than 10 yards away.

The highlight of the evening was when Newton found Curtis Samuel downfield on a deep post, hitting the receiver 40 yards in the air for a touchdown. It was a throw the quarterback couldn't have made a few months ago and one he barely could have made at the end of last season.

It felt like a sign that Newton was back, and his head coach thought so, too.

"Everything that we've been told and everything that we saw really just pointed to him to be ready to go," Panthers skipper Ron Rivera said Thursday night. "I think it did a lot for not just us but I know it did a lot for him, just uncorking them like he did, just letting them go."

Rivera added that Newton's showing "bodes very well for us," though the Panthers aren't in the clear yet regarding the QB's health.

"He's doing a lot of the good things," Rivera said. "It's always a tell to see how he is tomorrow morning."