CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Significant strides have been made in the past two games for quarterback Cam Newton, who has had regular practice repetitions and parlayed that into huge outings against New England and Detroit.
Now comes the next part of the recovery from offseason shoulder surgery. While the Carolina Panthers went light on Newton's workload in the preseason and during the first few weeks of the season, there's no reprieve going into Thursday night's home game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Newton will be throwing on short rest.
"I have to trust the coaches and trust the process when it comes to my arm, knowing that certain throws (are tough)," Newton said.
Yet, for the most part, Newton said it's clear to him that limitations have been lifted in terms of the passing attack.
"The strength of my arm is getting stronger and stronger," he said.
But there hasn't been such a quick turnaround this season, so that will be worth monitoring and it could factor into Carolina's offensive game plan.
Otherwise, head coach Ron Rivera said the Panthers are realizing the benefits after easing Newton back in terms of workload.
"We're getting timing down between him and his receivers," Rivera said. "We're starting to see the results of it."
One of the topics that Rivera has harped on as Newton has returned to form is the ability of his quarterback to spread the ball to numerous sources. That has helped keep defense's guessing.
"It's that ability to be able to mix who the balls are going to," Rivera said.
The matchup against the Eagles features two teams with 4-1 records. These are two of the three four-win teams in the NFC. For the Panthers, it's the fourth time in franchise history they've started with four or five victories across their first five games.