August 24, 2017

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was perfect in his preseason debut.

In his first live action since last year's season finale, Newton completed both of his passes for 21 yards and a touchdown at Jacksonville on Thursday night. His 9-yard strike to Kelvin Benjamin capped a 10-play, 75-yard opening drive that showed Panthers coach Ron Rivera all he needed to see from his star quarterback.

The former league MVP had surgery in March to repair a partially torn rotator cuff in his right, throwing shoulder.

Newton participated in the first five practices of training camp before developing soreness and backing off for nearly two weeks. Newton amped up his workload this week in preparation for the team's third preseason game.

The Panthers called runs on their first six plays before Newton stood in the pocket and found rookie Christian McCaffrey for a 12-yard gain. Three plays later, Newton was celebrating a touchdown.

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