2:09pm EDT 9/10/17

Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) is active for today’s game against the 49ers. He was listed as questionable but put in a full week of practice and was never in danger of missing this one. This will be Newton’s 1st extensive action since March surgery on his throwing shoulder. It makes him a risk/reward QB1 for the opener.

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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.

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.

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