Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered another injury on Thursday night, sustaining what is currently being deemed a sprained ankle in a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
The game marked the first time Newton was on the field since Week 15 of the 2018 campaign, as he was shut down for the final two games of this past season due to shoulder issues that would ultimately lead to arthroscopic surgery during the offseason.
Prior to the game on Thursday afternoon, Fox Sports talk-show host Colin Cowherd questioned if Newton will ever be able to become an elite quarterback again due to his issues with throwing accuracy.
Cowherd even likened Newton to Russell Westbrook, using Westbrook’s inability to shoot three-pointers as the basis of his comparison.
Cam Newton is the NFL's Russell Westbrook.
"The game changed. Russell Westbrook has to be able to shoot 3s… The NFL has become a precision throwing league and Cam isn't a precision throwing QB." — @ColinCowherd pic.twitter.com/CA98iqzs5O
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 22, 2019
While Newton has historically not been an accurate passer (lifetime completion percentage of 59.7 percent), he is coming off of a 2018 campaign in which he completed a career-high 67.9 percent of his passes, so the timing of Cowherd’s comparison seems a bit odd.
As a matter of fact, had it not been for Newton’s shoulder problems, he may very well have ended up enjoying the best season of his NFL career, as he threw for 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions while posting a passer rating of 94.2.
While those numbers don’t look great on the surface, keep in mind that nine of Newton’s 13 picks came between Weeks 10 and 15, when it was blatantly obvious that the condition of his right shoulder was getting worse and worse.
A more fair question would be how many years Newton has left, as he has now undergone two arthroscopic procedures on his throwing shoulder since the end of 2016.