X-rays on Cam Newton’s injured ribs and ankle this week showed no fractures, clearing the way for the Panthers’ franchise quarterback to participate fully in the team’s offseason workouts.
Head trainer Ryan Vermillion said Newton received an X-ray on his ribs as part of his exit physical, as well as an X-ray and MRI exam on his left ankle, which revealed a minor high ankle sprain.
Newton said that if the Panthers were playing this week, “he would be a full go and there is no way he would miss a game,” Vermillion said in an email Wednesday.
Newton took a couple of big hits in Sunday’s 44-38 win at New Orleans, including a fourth-quarter knockdown that left Newton writhing in pain on the Superdome turf. After Newton released the ball on a 6-yard completion to Louis Murphy, Saints defensive end Turk McBride rolled into Newton’s left leg, causing the ankle to twist awkwardly.
Newton was out for five plays while getting the ankle taped, before returning and finishing the game. It was the first time in two seasons Newton had missed multiple plays due to injury.
“I was in shock because the way my ankle bent was irregular,” Newton said after the game. “I didn’t know what was wrong. Thank God that everything is functioning well and I was able to come back in the game.”
Newton also left for one play during the third quarter, when he fell on the ball and hurt his ribs at the end of a 9-yard scramble.
Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross said he felt bad watching the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Newton limp to the bench the second time because Gross was responsible for blocking McBride.
“And (Newton) coming back in was just awesome,” Gross said. “It made my day because you don’t want to be the guy who gets Cam Newton hurt. I love playing with him. He’s done an outstanding job.”
Besides passing for 3,869 yards this season, Newton also ran for 741 yards, becoming the first quarterback to lead his team in rushing since Philadelphia’s Donovan McNabb in 2000.
“I’ve told him repeated times that he is a tough guy,” Gross added.
“The quarterback takes a lot of hits, let alone when they run the ball. And he gets back up every time.”