Newton’s ankle didn’t look like a problem
The second preseason game was the test everyone was waiting to watch Cam Newton take.
Newton had ankle surgery in March. His recovery and readiness for the upcoming season has been a topic of discussion since before the team reported for minicamp and OTAs in June.
He got his first taste of live game action Sunday night in the Panthers’ preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. FOX sideline reporter Pam Oliver said the team’s training staff watched practically all the steps Newton took on the field and was tending to him off of it. She said head coach Ron Rivera checked on him as well.
The ankle, though, never looked like an issue,
Newton moved around like he was able to do before surgery. He never broke out a big scramble like the one he did in the “Monday Night Football” home game against the Patriots. He didn’t get to showcase his downfield speed on a big run like the one he had in Week 14 last year against the Atlanta Falcons last year.
But it’s the preseason. It’s senseless to risk injury in a game that doesn’t count.
It was easy to see Newton and the Panthers’ offense did not get off to a great start. The team’s first three drives did not yield a first down. It rebounded by directing two touchdown drives. Newton went 4 of 9 for 65 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns.
The first scoring drive included a dart in traffic over the middle to tight end Ed Dickson. That play led to a Jonathan Stewart touchdown — his first of two in the first half.
The second scoring drive of the half had a great throw by Newton and another great catch by rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin. Newton threw a laser over the middle. Benjamin snared the ball for a nice gain into Kansas City territory.
Two plays later, Newton was under pressure from the Chiefs’ front. He danced around, escaped a sack, moved left, came back to the middle of the pocket, and then got sacked by the same guy he escaped just seconds before.
That right there put to bed any thoughts or worries about the most-reported-on ankle in the region.