Shark Bites

A video on the new YouTube channel of Panthers QB Cam Newton brought encouraging details on his January shoulder surgery. Newton had arthroscopic "irrigation" and "debridement" on his right (throwing) shoulder, and the cartilage damage was apparently fairly minor. “That cartilage damage was not as extensive as we had feared. It was definitely there. We knew that,” team doctor Pat Connor said. “It was pretty small. So if we get that (range of) motion back and keep it, I think we’ll be pretty good.” The Athletic's Joseph Person also talked with longtime Chargers team doctor David Chao, who said the same thing about restoring range of motion. That will be a key thing to watch for in reports through the spring and summer. Don't overrate the shoulder issue and sell off Newton cheaply in dynasty this offseason. As for his redraft -- and general 2019 -- outlook, we'll see how the rehab goes.

Panthers HC Ron Rivera said Thursday that QB Cam Newton is already showing "marked improvement" from his January 24th shoulder surgery. Rivera said the procedure was as "minimally invasive as possible" and was designed to clean out scar tissue that was affecting Newton's range of motion. "I was there on one of his recovery days when (Newton) was working out with (head athletic trainer) Ryan Vermillion," Rivera added. "And one of the things he did say was that he has gotten a lot of range of motion back. So that was exciting to hear." The Panthers expect Newton to be a full-go by the time training camp rolls around.

Panthers QB Cam Newton underwent surgery on his right shoulder on Thursday. It's his 2nd procedure on the throwing shoulder, following a March 2017 operation to repair a partially torn rotator cuff. The latest was an arthroscopic surgery that insider Jourdan Rodrigue hears was a cleanup. Newton's rehab is expected to run into spring, but the team is "hopeful" he'll be a full-go for training camp, according to Rodrigue. We'll keep an eye on him this offseason.

Panthers owner David Tepper admitted Tuesday that he has "no idea" if QB Cam Newton will need surgery on his throwing shoulder. “We all want the same thing: To do everything possible to make it better by next year,” Tepper added. “And hopefully he gets better." ESPN's Adam Schefter caused a stir when he suggested Newton could sit out the 2019 season, but the Charlotte media didn't come away from Tepper's press conference with that feeling. Still, another surgery -- Newton had a a procedure on this throwing shoulder prior to the 2017 campaign -- would muddy his status going forward.

Panthers WR Devin Funchess is inactive for today's finale against the Saints. He's been phased out down the stretch and will be a free agent this offseason. D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel will continue to operate as Carolina's top 2 WRs.

The Panthers have ruled DT Kawann Short (calf) out for Sunday's finale at New Orleans.

The Panthers have placed QB Taylor Heinicke on IR with the left elbow injury he suffered in last week's loss to the Falcons. With QB Cam Newton (shoulder) on the shelf, QB Kyle Allen will start Sunday's finale against the Saints. The undrafted rookie went 4-for-4 in relief of Heinicke last week but isn't a Week 17 fantasy option.

Panthers HC Ron Rivera suggested that he'll consider limiting RB Christian McCaffrey's workload in this weekend's finale, saying "we need to be smart." There was no sign of that in Week 16, with CMC playing 90% of the snaps, carrying 21 times and seeing 13 targets. We'll keep an eye on the situation the rest of the week.

Panthers DT Kawann Short is inactive for today's game against the Falcons because of a calf injury. That takes Carolina's best D-lineman out of the lineup, improving the matchup for Falcons RB Tevin Coleman. The 1st meeting found Coleman delivering 1 of his two 100-yard rushing lines so far this year.

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The Panthers have placed K Graham Gano (knee) on IR. Chandler Catanzaro will handle kicking duties the rest of the way but isn't a fantasy option with Taylor Heinicke under center.

The Panthers are shutting down QB Cam Newton for the rest of the season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a smart move by Carolina. Newton's shoulder has obviously become a bigger problem over the past few weeks, and the Panthers are all but eliminated from the playoff picture. We'll see if Newton needs another surgery on that shoulder or if some rest will get him back to 100%. His absence will leave Taylor Heinicke as Carolina's starter for the last 2 weeks. Undrafted out of Old Dominion back in 2015, Heinicke has attempted just 5 regular-season NFL passes. He's not a Week 16 fantasy option and is a downgrade for all of Carolina's skill-position guys. RB Christian McCaffrey is the only reliable fantasy play on the team.

Panthers QB Cam Newton admitted after Monday night's loss to the Saints that his throwing shouldn't is "not getting better." He struggled mightily vs. New Orleans, completing just 16 of 29 passes for 131 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT. None of his attempts traveled more than 20 yards downfield, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. “I wish I could say what the injury is, but I don’t really know what it is, either,” Newton said. “No matter how much you push. No matter how much you ice, anti-inflammatories you take. Trust me, I did it — acupuncture, massages. It’s not been a time when a night went by without me getting some type of work done on my arm. I just don’t have the strength.” It's possible the Panthers shut Newton down with their season all but over. Even if he plays against the Falcons this weekend, he'll be tough to trust in fantasy lineups.

Panthers DT Kawann Short is surprisingly active for tonight’s game against the Saints. Short entered the day doubtful, which should mean that IDP owners already went with someone else. If you were holding out, though, he’s available

Panthers DT Kawann Short is doubtful for Monday night's game against the Saints with a calf injury that kept him out of practice Friday and Saturday. We've knocked Short out of the Week 15 IDP rankings, where he was just a low-level option anyway.

Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) isn't listed on the final Week 14 injury report. He was limited on Wednesday and Thursday but listed as a full participant on Friday. Newton is dealing with some soreness in his throwing shoulder, which adds some risk to his fantasy outlook. But he remains a strong QB1 vs. Cleveland this weekend.

Panthers K Graham Gano (knee) is out for Sunday’s game against the Browns. K Chandler Catanzaro will kick in his place. Gano is sitting just 22nd among Ks in fantasy points, so Catanzaro isn’t a recommended Week 14 play.

Panthers QB Cam Newton was limited in Wednesday's practice with a throwing-shoulder issue. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport termed it a "sore" shoulder and said it "may be a battle the rest of the season." Rapoport added that he's "received no indication that his playing status is in doubt." Newton, of course, is coming off his worst game of the year -- a 4-INT clunker in Tampa Bay. It's also worth noting that he was pulled for QB Taylor Heinicke for a Hail Mary on the final play of that game. We'll continue to keep an eye on Newton's status. He'll come with a bit more risk in Week 14 fantasy lineups but remains a QB1.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen told reporters after Sunday's loss that he ruptured the plantar fascia in his right foot and expects to miss the rest of the season. This is the same foot that Olsen has broken twice over the past 2 seasons, and he believes the latest injury was a result of trying to compensate for those previous breaks. Olsen's absence will leave Ian Thomas as Carolina's lead pass-catching TE the rest of the way. In the 3 games Olsen missed earlier this year, Thomas totaled 8 catches on 14 targets. He'll be a low-end spot-start option moving forward.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen is out for the rest of Sunday's game against the Bucs with a right foot injury. That's the same foot he's broken twice over the past 2 seasons. Olsen's 2018 campaign might be very well be over. That'd leave rookie Ian Thomas as Carolina's lead TE.

Panthers WR Devin Funchess (back) is active for today’s game against the Bucs. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported this morning that Funchess will play on a “limited basis.” So despite the plus matchup, consider him just a WR4.

 
 
 

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