The same day the Carolina Panthers cut ties with cornerback Josh Norman, they welcomed their quarterback back to town.
Cam Newton was at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday and is expected to attend the start of the offseason program next week. Newton has been in California the past two months filming his upcoming Nickelodeon series, “All In With Cam Newton.”
He will begin taping episodes in and around Charlotte while the Panthers prepare for organized team activities in May and a June minicamp. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said it was good to have Newton in the building.
“It’s kind of funny. Luke (Kuechly) said to me the energy level downstairs went up a couple of octaves having him back in the locker room,” Rivera said Thursday. “Good to see him. He looks good. You get that sense he’s focusing in on the upcoming season.”
Rivera had updates on several of the Panthers’ injured players, including wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who had ACL surgery last summer. Benjamin will be limited during the spring drills but the hope is to have him ready for training camp.
Benjamin has been training with Stephen Hill, another wideout who tore his ACL a couple of weeks before Benjamin last summer.
“He and Stephen have worked very hard to get themselves where they are. They’ve both been out on the field running and cutting with the trainers and (Kelvin) will do some limited things in practice to bring him along gradually,” Rivera said. “We expect to have him on the field doing some things for us as he progresses toward training camp.”
Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who underwent labrum surgery in February, is not expected to do much until Spartanburg.
“He has progressed nicely as well,” Rivera said. “He won’t do any pushing or pulling, turning or catching (during OTAs), anything like that. He’ll be doing some running and communicating. It’s going to limited and we’ll keep an eye on him.”