It took Cam Newton a long, long time to get his shoulder healthy again.
“Last time I’ve been healthy?” Newton said, via ProFootballTalk. “Honest, 2016.”
“I threw an interception,” Newton also noted. “I tried to go make the tackle, and I tried to push him out, and I extended my arm, and I messed up my AC joint. And ever since then, there’s just been a part of me that’s just been a wounded dog. Like a wounded lion almost. Just, ‘I’m not right.’ I feel good at times, but when I’m running I still feel it. So instead of running them over, I’m going to turn this shoulder and just go down.”
While not totally giving Newton a free pass for his missteps with the New England Patriots in 2020, it does explain a few things. For one, it would not be surprising if Newton’s shoulder held up as the season went along.
Then, there’s the fact that if he was playing through pain for so long, he probably created a number of bad habits. So poor was his throwing at times last season that the explanation only could be injury, eroded mechanics or the yips. What Newton is saying in that video sets the table for the first two possibilities to have been the contributing factor.
It appears he had a mostly healthy offseason, however, and now he will have had a full season in the Patriots’ system. That, in theory, should position him for some more success this year.