The Charlotte Observer reports that Panthers QB Newton is not 100% after undergoing ankle surgery this offseason. Newton worked out with the Panthers receivers last week, but was unable to give full effort due to concerns about the ankle. The fourth-year quarterback did not miss any games last season due to the injury, but complained of stiffness following the Panthers' playoff game versus the 49ers. He opted to have surgery in March to "tighten" some of the ankle ligaments.
This news is absolutely concerning, coming, as it does, so close to the start of training camp. Newton's offseason surgery and subsequent recovery have largely flown under the radar, but this report should worry fantasy owners at least a bit. As the Observer article mentions, the Panthers have a new group of receivers this year, with whom Newton will need time to develop chemistry. But more importantly, Newton is a quarterback who depends on his legs for a fair portion of his fantasy value. Rushing, and especially rushing touchdowns, are a huge part of his allure. If he's limited at all in that aspect of his game, his fantasy value will take a major hit. Newton is currently being drafted seventh amongst fantasy quarterbacks.