Panthers defend allowing Cam Newton to play through shoulder injury
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton played out the end of the season with an injury to his throwing shoulder despite the team being out of playoff contention, and now that he needs surgery, the team is facing criticism for not sitting him down.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman defended the team’s decision, saying Newton was cleared to play and wanted to play.
“We are in the business of winning. That’s what we’re here for,” Gettleman said, via Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. “I just know that’s my responsibility – put the best club on the field and to win games, that’s Ron (Rivera’s) job. That’s why we’re all here. You talk about our culture here and the No. 1 priority is winning football games. Those conversations happen.
“Cam’s a football player. He wanted to play and the medical people felt it was fine, so we did.”
Gettleman also rejected comparisons between Newton and Luke Kuechly, who was held out with a concussion.
“It’s two different cases and I’m not going to go down there,” Gettleman said. “There’s always conversations with injuries. We have this crazy idea we should care about them as people. They’re going to have long lives beyond their NFL careers.”
Newton should be ready for training camp. It was still a rather curious decision on Carolina’s part to have let him play.