At Wednesday’s practice, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton surprised media by not throwing or taking reps with the receivers.
But 13 games into the season, it isn’t as surprising as it seems.
“It was nothing to be scary about,” Newton said, and confirmed that it was just a rest day.
“Shoulder, Cam?” a reporter asked.
“Body, Cam,” Newton grinned in response.
Head coach Ron Rivera said Newton did most of the individual drills in practice.
“Every now and then, you have got to do that for him,” Rivera said, adding that Newton ran sprints on the side as the offense took reps. “Because he doesn’t take any breaks. It’s just one of those things.
“He wanted to get out there and work. So we limited him, trying to take a little bit off.”
The rest may be exactly what Newton needs. He has not completed even 50 percent of his passes in the Panthers’ last four games.
Yet Newton was largely unconcerned with that statistic.
“I could care less,” he said. “Just looking for the most important stat in all sports.”
Offensive lineman Daryl Williams and defensive end Charles Johnson were back at practice, though they both stayed on the sideline and did rehab work with trainers. Linebacker David Mayo was back at practice, as was Luke Kuechly – though Kuechly is still in the concussion protocol, Rivera confirmed.
Running back Jonathan Stewart took a rest day as well, said Rivera.