Cam Newton hasn't been himself this season thanks to offseason ankle surgery that sapped much of his mobility and magical escape ability.
Newton, seven months removed from the procedure, said at first he didn't realize the extent to which the surgery would hinder him.
"We kind of teased about it a couple weeks ago, how the doctor kind of downplayed how the surgery was going to go. I just thought this was a surgery just to clean up the ligaments and what not," Newton said Wednesday, per the Charlotte Observer. "But after reading a lot of reports from you guys, hearing about so much of ligament repair and this major ankle surgery that may hold Cam Newton off for a couple months, that's when I started scratching my head like, man, this may be bigger than I thought. And something I thought may have a cast on for a couple weeks end up to be a couple months."
Panthers athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said in an email to the Observer that Newton was never told it would be a simple surgery and the timeline for his recovery from the start was four to six months.
Newton has looked better from the pocket this season, but behind a poor offensive line he has been sacked (nine) more times than he's rushed the ball (eight). The quarterback has gone seven consecutive games without a rushing touchdown, the longest drought of his career.
"I'm still in that mode where trying to realize that I'm still trying to recover from a major ankle surgery that was displayed to me originally as a regular little cleanup," Newton said. "But I'm glad it happened. My ankle is getting back and feeling stronger than ever. And hopefully I will be able to display my running talents here soon. If that means my running makes a big impact on the game, who knows?"