"It was extremely fun to come out here for my first practice," Newton said. "I can't stress enough that I'm not 100 percent yet. I'm treating it day in and day out.
"But the truth of the matter is I'm happy to be out here."
That was evident in between drills, as Newton engaged the crowd to orchestrate all forms of the wave – reverse, slow-motion, high-speed – before taking a bow.
As for his play, there was some expected rust – a fumbled handoff to running back
"He's working himself back in, and this was the first time he really had a chance to work those techniques," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He made some nice throws.
"A big part of right now is developing the footwork, and a big part of that is getting the flexibility back (in his ankle). We have to be smart with it, and I think he'll work back into shape pretty soon. This is all part of his rehab."
Seeing his franchise quarterback back full-go was a welcome sight for Rivera, as was the performance of the wide receivers Friday.
"I liked what I saw from that bunch," Rivera said.
When asked for the standout from practice, Rivera chose wide receiver
"It was just a straight go-route, and at first I didn't think he threw it. At the last second I was like, 'Oh, crap,'" Bersin said. "It was a great throw, and luckily the defensive back didn't really see it. I was able to make a play.
"It's great to just get out here and start practicing again. It's fun being in front of all these fans."
Now the Panthers will head south to resume training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., with the Back to Football party taking place at 4 p.m. and practice at 6:30.
"He's got a tight back," Rivera said. "We'll see how he is tomorrow. He might not practice. Hopefully, he'll be in pads on Sunday."
Prior to practice, the team waived defensive tackle Shaq Rowell.