Cam with a plan: ‘More dangerous’ after surgery
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says his comeback from the shoulder injury that wouldn’t allow him to throw passes more than 30 yards late this past season will make him “even more dangerous.”
Newton detailed the Jan. 24 arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage damage and his mindset moving forward on the “Cam Newton YouTube” channel that was launched on Thursday.
“A lot of people are saying they’ve seen the best of Cam Newton,” the 2015 NFL MVP said. “Everything that’s been said that I don’t like, straight up. I’m not here to knock on doors. I’m here to kick the m—–f—– down. Seeing the doubt, hearing the whispers of ‘He don’t got it no more,’ that’s what makes this comeback even more extraordinary for me.
“I feel this is going to make me even more dangerous. When it’s all said and done, I can look back at my life, and I know this particular time in my life propelled me to that next point. I’m excited about what the future holds.”
The Panthers are optimistic Newton will be ready for the start of the 2019 season after surgery revealed the damage in the shoulder wasn’t as bad as anticipated.
In the video, Dr. Pat Connor is shown telling Newton shortly after the procedure: “The damage, that cartilage damage, was not as extensive as we appeared. It was pretty small. If we can get that motion back and keep it, we’ll be pretty good.”
Newton admitted in the video there were times, between a seven-game losing streak after a 6-2 start and the “nagging” pain in his shoulder, that he was scared and didn’t want to be around family and friends.
“I didn’t know what the f— was wrong with my shoulder,” he said. “I just knew that it hurt and I knew it was an issue. I couldn’t throw the ball but 30 yards. No lie. … So I was trying to keep up with it as much as possible that I could until the wheels fell off. And this is what happened.
“I felt like defenses was exposing me because I couldn’t throw the ball downfield. Not being in a position physically to be able to make the throws that you know you’re capable of making, that was the disheartening thing of the whole year.”
Newton was so limited that the Panthers finally shut him down for the final two games.
“At one point [in] time I felt as if we were Super Bowl contenders,” said Newton, who even at the start of the seven-game losing streak said he was playing the best football of his career. “As the season kept progressing and going forward, I knew the status of my arm was still uncertain, but we were still winning games.
“Everything that we wanted to accomplish in the season was right in front of us. And then, hmm, everything switches. It didn’t really get to me until probably the fourth or fifth [straight] loss. Not only was the losing affecting me, it was my body.”
Newton said that’s when he withdrew from many of those close to him.
“I just backed myself into this hole,” the first pick of the 2011 draft said. “I was hurting. As a man, as a gladiator so to speak, this persona we want to play, you can’t show no weakness. I was weak. And I felt so vulnerable. I felt so scared. I felt so afraid. I knew I wasn’t myself.”
The video went from Newton talking to a camera to him driving to the hospital for the surgery to being put under for surgery.
“It’s 5:30 a.m., January 24. Surgery day,” Newton said. “Today’s main goal is to go in the shoulder, the joints, the labrum, the rotator cuff and everything around it. A lot of people in this situation would be scared, or just want this s— to stop. Shoulder aching, whatever the f— they’ve got to do, I’m just going to get this s— over with.”
Newton said he launched the channel to give his fan base a more detailed look into his life.
“I know there’s a lot of YouTube channels,” he said. “I want this one to kind of be a little different. I want it to have more drip, swag, sauce … all that.
“Hopefully, you will see a side of Cam you’ve probably heard about but never could grasp until now.”