Despite Newton’s immense talent, he’s had a long list of injuries in previous seasons that have hindered his game and required him to re-prove his worth on the field.
In 2020, Newton averaged a career-low 177.1 passing yards per game and the Patriots averaged just 20.4 points per game (No. 27 in the league).
Needless to say, Newton needs to get in the reps to get more comfortable on this New England team and run a more productive offense.
The 32-year-old may be past his prime, but he can be one of the most explosive players when healthy. Yet his injury-prone reputation has at times made it difficult for him to excel at his position. Newton has suffered quite a few injuries over the course of his career, and ended both of the last two seasons on the sidelines due to medical issues. The fact that he hasn’t had a clean bill of health since his 2015 MVP season is certainly something to worry about, but if anyone can transform an aging, injury-prone star, Bill Belichick might be the perfect coach for the job.
Here’s a comprehensive look at Newton’s injury history to date and what it means for the Patriots for the upcoming season.
Cam Newton injury update
On June 4, Newton left the Patriots’ OTA practice session due to a right hand injury and didn’t return. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Newton suffered a “slight bone bruise” after hitting his hand on a helmet.
At the time, given Newton’s injury history, many believed the incident would sideline Newton until late summer, but Belicheck told reporters last Thursday that it wasn’t nearly that serious.
“He’s doing alright,” Belichick said, via Patriots.com. “He won’t be out there today but it’s nothing serious….He’ll be alright.”
Newton reportedly attended a voluntary OTA on Friday and threw the ball around, which should put him back under center on Monday. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Newton has recovered well and should make his return to practice early this week.
Though Newton’s latest injury seems to be nothing but a minor setback, there’s no telling how he’ll perform once he’s back.
As of right now, Newton will likely keep his starting job, but first-round pick Mac Jones could become a formidable competitor before the start of the 2021 campaign.
Check back for updates on Newton’s health and availability.
Cam Newton Lisfranc fracture, 2019
In his final year with Carolina, Newton suffered a season-ending injury that was later revealed to be a Lisfranc fracture, which significantly impairs the mid-foot area. Without being able to plant his feet, much less run, without pain, Newton was sidelined just two weeks into the season.
His recovery from the fracture also went slower than expected, and the Panthers ultimately placed Newton on IR. That was it for him.
Cam Newton shoulder injury, 2018
In Week 10 of the 2018 season, Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt laid a nasty hit on Newton in Week 10 and that derailed Carolina’s season. Take a look:
This “Kryptonite” injury was a real blow to Newton’s hot season (the Panthers were 6-2), and Newton couldn’t recover in time to save the Panthers’ playoff hopes. The hurt shoulder affected his game for the rest of the year and, in January of 2019, Newton underwent surgery, sitting out Carolina’s spring practices and missing even more game time.
Cam Newton knee injury, 2017
Newton suffered ligament and cartilage damage in the NFC divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, which largely contributed to the Panthers’ 31-26 loss. However, he avoided surgery during that time period, playing through the injury up until the final two weeks of 2018 season until Carolina shut him down.
Cam Newton concussion and shoulder injury, 2016
Hot on the heels of his injury-free 2015 MVP campaign, Newton suffered a concussion in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons and missed the following game. Not long after, he partially tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder and was limited in performance, eventually undergoing surgery in March of 2017. He recovered in time to play all 16 games of the 2017 season, throwing for 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
Cam Newton fractured rib and back injury, 2014
Newton suffered a hairline rib fracture that ruled him out of the Panthers’ season opener. Later in the season, Newton fractured his lower back in a two-car accident and was forced to miss yet another game.
All facts considered, Newton has been plagued with some form of injury in the past four seasons alone, and who knows how much more his body can handle.