Cam Newton foot surgery follows unfortunate Carolina Panthers timeline
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had foot surgery on Monday.
Let’s preface this editorial with a statement about medical expertise. I’m not a doctor or trainer and nor is it my responsibility to ensure athletes worth millions of dollars receive this best care available. I’m a fan, but from the outside looking in it seems Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is seemingly always expected to be Superman.
Despite experience in the medical field, I do know surgery is an invasive procedure regardless of where it is performed on the body. Also, if given an opportunity most athletes would prefer to avoid going under the knife but for many this last resort serves to benefit their careers.
Advances in technology and procedures have led multiple athletes to return from what was once considered a career ending injury. Many often immediately receive the care needed in an effort to provide as much time as possible for healing, rehab and a full return to their performance level prior to any procedure.
Unless your name is Cam Newton.
Newton suffered his first major injury in 2016 during a Week 14 home game. A partially torn rotator cuff that wasn’t revealed until after the season despite Carolina continuing to deploy their franchise quarterback with the team holding a 5-8 record, they finished 6-10 on the year.
Instead of surgery, rest and rehab exercises were administered in hopes Newton’s body would heal itself. Ultimately, a procedure was required in March – three months after the injury.
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Following a strict regimen, Newton returned in time for the 2017 opener and led Carolina to their fourth playoff appearance in five seasons. After a healthy offseason, expectations were high entering 2018 when the Panthers started 6-2 but scar tissue build up in his throwing shoulder limited a usual range of motion. Carolina lost six in a row before Newton was eventually shut down even though his inability to throw the football down the field was obvious.
His last game was December 17, 2018 and Newton had an arthroscopic procedure performed on January 24, 2019 – one month instead of three – this was considered a victory giving Newton plenty of opportunity to prepare for this year.
Unfortunately a preseason foot injury was complicated with Newton making the first two starts of 2019 and the results were detrimental again. Newton was eventually placed on injured reserve in early November, ending any possibility of a return. However, instead of immediately going in and repairing his Lisfranc injury, surgery was once again avoided.
Until this week, when it was reported Newton did undergo a procedure in an effort to fix his foot. The second time he’s attempted to heal naturally but eventually ended up under a doctor’s care to hopefully prolong his career.
It just seems both scenarios could have been avoided with longer opportunities for rehabilitation and a chance to return at full strength had whoever is responsible for the decisions been willing to act instead of hope.
Now the uncertainty of a foot injury limiting his movement, coupled with questions about how Newton’s shoulder will hold up over the course of an entire season are weighing in as his contract nears expiration and a questionable future lies ahead.
Which Carolina has let become an all too familiar scenario when it comes to the status of an impact player like Cam Newton.