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Panthers’ Cam Newton: Production derailed by shoulder

Newton (shoulder) finished the 2018 regular season with 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions through the air and 101 carries for 488 yards and four scores on the ground in 14 games played.

Newton started brilliantly under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, passing for 15 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions through Carolina’s first eight games. All four of his rushing scores also came over that span, which coincided with six wins. However, as soreness in his throwing shoulder became more of an issue, Newton and the Panthers offense stalled during the second half. The signal caller was picked off in each of his last six appearances, including four times in Week 13. Newton also didn’t account for a touchdown after that disastrous outing, contributing toward an agonizing six-game losing streak that led to him being shut down with two weeks remaining and Carolina eliminated from playoff contention. Fortunately, since scans revealed no structural damage, Newton is expected to avoid surgery this offseason, an especially relieving development considering he already underwent surgery to repair a partially torn right rotator cuff following the 2016 campaign. Assuming his shoulder heals as expected, Newton will aim to build on a season that still saw him post by far his best completion percentage (67.9) while averaging two touchdowns per game. Although lingering concerns over his durability, as well as the emergence of second-team All-Pro tailback Christian McCaffrey, resulted in the second-fewest rushing yards of his career, Newton remains a dynamic dual threat when healthy, and getting back to 100 percent should be his top priority this offseason.

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