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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Ankle won't hold back Cam Newton

By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The surgically repaired left ankle that kept Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to limited participation during offseason workouts will not hold him back in training camp.

Coach Ron Rivera said on Thursday that Newton will have no restrictions when the Panthers practice for the first time on Friday night at Bank of America Stadium.

Cam Newton
Quarterback Cam Newton, who had offseason ankle surgery, will have no physical restrictions when training camp gets underway.

"Cam is going to participate full-go," Rivera said as players reported to the team facility in Charlotte. "Obviously, we'll monitor to make sure. He'll go through his treatments just like he's supposed to in terms of maintenance, but he's starting Day 1 on the field."

The injury report wasn't all good for Carolina, which will move training camp headquarters to Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Saturday. Guard Edmund Kugbila, a fourth-round pick in 2013, will undergo back surgery on Aug. 8 and miss the season.

Kugbila was expected to compete for the starting right guard spot. He missed last season after being placed on injured reserve in training camp with a hamstring injury.

The back injury is believed to be related to workouts during his rehabilitation.

"I feel awful for the kid," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "This kid has done absolutely everything we've asked him to do and he can't catch a break."

Running back Jonathan Stewart, who began last season on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing ankle surgery, suffered a hamstring injury a week and a half ago. Gettleman said Stewart will remain on the active roster so he can participate in team meetings and walk-throughs.

He expects Stewart to miss one to two weeks of camp. Also, rookie safety Tre Boston (hernia surgery in June) and wide receiver De'Andre Presley (stress fracture) will open camp on the PUP list. But the best news for the Panthers injury-wise was that Newton, who didn't take any snaps under center in OTAs until a 7-on-7 drill the last day of a June minicamp, won't be hampered.

"Probably the best thing that happened was he went up and did that 7-on-7 with the wide receivers," Rivera said of a three-day passing workout Newton did with wide receivers on his own while the team was on a break. "Apparently, he got back and didn't have any problems with it or issues.

"I'm pretty excited about having him on the field full time with those guys."