For the better part of 90 minutes Thursday, Cam Newton was off.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback misfired on a couple of passes and looked very much like a passer who hadn’t participated in full-squad drills since December.
And then Newton delivered a long pass to tight end Greg Olsen, who got behind second-year corner Daryl Worley, for a touchdown on Newton’s final throw of practice.
The well-timed and nicely thrown pass – which covered about 50 yards in the air – was another step in Newton’s recovery from shoulder surgery in March.
Newton is taking all the reps with the first-team offense. But until his throw to Olsen, he hadn’t uncorked any of his trademark deep spirals.
“He’s working that timing back and he is a little bit rusty, so he’s got to build himself on,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “Early on you see (the rust). But as practice wore on you could see his footwork getting in sync with his hips and getting in sync with his shoulders. That’s a good thing. That means it’s coming along.”