Cam Newton has been dealing with pain in his throwing shoulder. He has been throwing less downfield passes due to the pain, most notably in week 14 where he threw 4 interceptions against the Tampa Bay defense and was relieved by back-up Taylor Heinicke for a Hail Mary attempt.
This started in at the end of the 2016 season after he landed onto his shoulder during a tackle against San Diego. He was ultimately had rotator cuff surgery for a partial rotator cuff tear.
The rotator cuff is a band of tendon that connects the humerus (arm bone) to the shoulder girdle. It allows for rotation of the shoulder and the ability to pull the humerus above the head. Tears can be partial or complete and usually require surgery if it affects the throwing arm of an athelete, although it can be delayed until the season ends. Quarterbacks can expect to start throwing 12 weeks after surgery.
Cam Newton most likely has a partial tear in his shoulder that may be have been aggravated from a fall or from throwing the football. It is difficult to confidently tell even with an MRI how bad this injury is.
He will mostly likely play the rest of the season and post- season if he can and opt for surgery in the off season. This can range from a simple cleanup (after which he can throw after a few weeks) to re- repairing the tendon (which would be 12 weeks again), but he would be back before training camp in either scenario.
In the worst case scenario, although unlikely, we could be looking at an Andrew Luck- type situation long- term or potentially shutting him down for the rest of the season if the Panthers are totally eliminated from the post- season.
Patrick Chung undergoing multiple surgeries-Dr. Patel
Patrick Chung of the New England Patriots suffered a forearm fracture during the Super Bowl, and he is set to undergo surgery this week. This will involve placing plates and screws across the bones to allow them to heal in the proper position. This could be something similar to an injury that Rob Gronkowski had several years ago, but all of the details are not available.
A few weeks later he will also have surgery to address a shoulder problem that he had been dealing with throughout the season. This is most likely a partial or complete injury to the labrum in the shoulder or the rotator cuff. These tend to be injuries that athletes can play through with some pain and address in the off season.
Regardless, he is expected to miss the OTAs and be back for training camp.
Cam Newton undergoes shoulder surgery-Dr. Parekh
Melvin Gordon is banged up
Melvin Gordon has been fighting through a bunch of leg injuries all year, but this week might be his toughest yet. On 11/25 against the Arizona Cardinals Melvin Gordon suffered a right MCL injury on a tackle by Arizona defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche. This caused Gordon to miss the next 3 weeks. Then, in a week 17 game Gordon appeared to suffer a mild right high ankle sprain. Last week, against the Ravens, Gordon appeared to already be slowed down with his injuries to his right leg and was wearing a right knee brace. Then, during the first quarter CJ Mosley made a tackle that appeared to cause a left MCL sprain. He returned to the game but was not the same Melvin Gordon we have seen earlier in the year. Melvin Gordon is active and will play against the Patriots but expect him to be limited and not nearly 100%. We will likely see more Austin Ekeler than usual.