CHARLOTTE – Footballs flew through the air Wednesday in the Panthers' first organized team activity open to the media, and Cam Newton was in the middle of it all.
But Newton, much like the media members that tracked his every move, played the role of interested observer rather than active participant.
"It's a really big not-that-big-of-a-deal," head coach Ron Rivera said of Newton not throwing passes during the first week of OTAs. "With the exception of throwing the ball physically, he does everything else."
Newton is four months removed from an arthroscopic procedure on his throwing shoulder to address soreness that sidelined for the final two games of 2018 and limited his throwing range for several games leading up to the decision to shut him down.
While the Panthers' other quarterbacks limbered up with some throws in position drills early in Wednesday's session, Newton worked on the side with head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion. The closest he came to throwing a pass was a shortened throwing motion with a football in hand – but the football never left his hand. He went through similar motions with a couple of small medicine balls and with a towel, though he never threw in the towel.
Newton later had notes in hand, standing behind the line of scrimmage in the vicinity of offensive coordinator Norv Turner and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner as Carolina's other quarterbacks took snaps during team drills.
"There really is no plan in terms of when to expect something to happen," Rivera said. "What they're doing is they're taking it day by day, week by week and evaluating. They'll just continue to go through the process. There is no timeframe.
"I'm optimistic. I think he's done a great job. Everything that I've seen tells me that he's doing a great job."
View photos of Panthers players and coaches as they prepare for the second practice of OTAs.