Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is like a pitcher whose arm is under duress.
On Friday, head coach Ron Rivera agreed that Newton was on a “pitch count,” meaning that while Newton is throwing, his repetitions are limited in order to protect what has turned out to be a sore right shoulder.
“We want to just bring him along nice and gradually,” said Rivera. He expects Newton to be fully ready to play in Carolina’s “Monday Night Football” matchup in Washington.
Newton had an MRI this week on that shoulder. It came back clean, but Newton did not throw either Wednesday or Thursday. On Friday, he was able to get a few reps in.
“He looked pretty good,” Rivera said. “Moved around well, threw the ball well. He’s looking good. Did some nice things.”
Receiver Kelvin Benjamin was also limited after landing on his back after catching a pass in Thursday’s practice. Rivera said he did “get out and get moving around” on Friday, however.
“It’s good to see him. He’s such a big target, and when he’s on the field his presence is felt,” said Rivera.
Linebacker Luke Kuechly is still in the concussion protocol, as is linebacker David Mayo.
Defensive end Charles Johnson (hamstring) and lineman Daryl Williams (ankle) did not practice. Receiver Ted Ginn Jr. took a rest day.