On Sunday’s grueling padded camp session at Wofford, quarterback Cam Newton was held out from the final two team periods Sunday, as trainers decided to rest him and his throwing arm while he continues to work back to full health post-surgery. Backup Derek Anderson took over with the first team during team periods.
Newton did stay after practice to do extra conditioning work and drills.
▪ Newton wasn’t the only Panthers player to stay late. Rookie running back Christian McCaffrey had a rare dropped ball as he got a little ahead of himself in the flat. McCaffrey worked on the jugs machine after practice. Receiver Damiere Byrd also caught punts off the jugs machine after the session had ended. Undrafted free agent rookie receiver Fred Ross spent some time working on arm moves on the dummy.
▪ Newton was once again a little off when he was in. He was picked off twice, once by cornerback Daryl Worley and once by linebacker Shaq Thompson. He also overthrew tight end Greg Olsen on a deep route, but connected well with receiver Brenton Bersin on the same route a few repetitions later.
▪ Kicker Graham Gano handled all of the kicking duties Sunday (he and rookie Harrison Butker are in a rotation), and was a perfect 8-for-8 including three kicks over 50 yards. Gano impressed the crowd on the hill outside the practice field with his leg, giving some needed entertainment as the rest of the team stayed on the far field.
▪ McCaffrey didn’t have his best day, but laid a block on linebacker Jeremy Cash in a blitz pickup that knocked Cash to the ground.
▪ The throw of the day came from camp arm Garrett Gilbert, who threaded the needle to tight end Ed Dickson in triple coverage.
▪ It was a “vet day” of rest for many older players, including defensive end Julius Peppers, running back Jonathan Stewart, center Ryan Kalil and left tackle Matt Kalil. The latter Kalil has also been struggling a little in the heat, according to Rivera.
▪ Receiver Devin Funchess continued to have a nice camp, catching several passes in tight coverage and scoring a touchdown off a slant route from Anderson.
▪ Safety Kurt Coleman did have Funchess’ number though, with a huge pass breakup and collision at the goal line.
▪ Receiver Curtis Samuel still did not practice after experiencing hamstring tightness earlier this week. With rookie corner/nickel Corn Elder and veteran nickel Captain Munnerlyn still out as well, undrafted free agent Cole Luke had a second big day in a row at nickel. Luke appears to be competing heavily with backup Zack Sanchez throughout camp.