Cam to throw when Panthers open up minicamp

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton told ESPN last month that he hoped there would be a time before the start of training camp in late July when he could throw following his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery.

That time is now.

Newton is scheduled to throw during all quarterback drills when the Panthers begin a three-day mandatory minicamp on Tuesday. It will be the first time he has thrown in drills since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in January.

"This is all part of the rehab process," trainer Ryan Vermillion told the team website on Saturday. "Cam has worked extremely hard this offseason with his rehabilitation and his preparation.

"He's going to continue the throwing program Tuesday, and we'll advance it as we monitor his progress. He's achieved every milestone we've set out for him so far in preparation for this."

Vermillion did not indicate whether Newton will participate in team drills, saying only that the 2015 NFL MVP will make a limited number of throws to stationary targets during quarterback drills.

Newton hinted again this past week that his time to throw was nearing when he posted on social media: "Streets want to know when Boogie coming back ... Due time, people. In due time."

He then posted Friday on Instagram a picture of him in a throwing motion with his son, Chosen.

"Cam's confidence level is up because he's pain-free," Vermillion said. "He feels good about where he is right now -- but we're not done. This is one more step in our process as we get him ready for 2019."

The Panthers have been confident Newton would be ready for the regular season since the surgery to clean up scar tissue from a more complex surgery during the 2017 offseason.

Newton's shoulder became an issue midway through last season, to the point where the Panthers had to bring in backup Taylor Heinicke to throw Hail Mary passes at the end of the half or game. Newton said in February that the shoulder was so sore before the Panthers shut him down the final two games that he couldn't throw more than 30 yards.

He said then that the surgery already had him feeling pain-free. He reiterated that in a May interview with ESPN during a tour of his new cigar bar lounge, "Fellaship," in Atlanta.

"I'm feeling great now," Newton told ESPN. "I feel like I do have full strength right now. ... Rehab is going unbelievable, especially for me during a time now, a lot of uncertainty. For me, the human side of me is uncertain as well.

"But with the support cast from RV, the head trainer and other people that have been working with me hands-on daily, I have no doubt I'll be ready to rock and roll when they expect me to be back."
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