Andrew Luck and Cam Newton May Be Damaged Goods

Andrew Luck and Cam Newton were supposed to battle it out over the next 10 seasons for sole possession of the title as Face of the NFL.  Both had rookie seasons to die for and some playoff moments that would suggest that a Super Bowl victory was on the horizon. Newton threw for a rookie record 4,011 yards in 2011. By 2015 he was leading a confident Carolina Panthers team into the Super Bowl before falling victim to Peyton Manning, Denver’s deadly defense and the football gods who write the Hollywood scripts that fuel the popularity and unpredictability of the NFL.

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Super Bowl 2016: Broncos’ defense dominates as Peyton Manning wins second title #Superbowl

Luck hit the scene with RG3, Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins in a plentiful 2012 QB Draft class. He quickly proved to be the best of the bunch and became a football god in Indianapolis.

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31 days until NFL season Andrew Luck threw for 31 TD last season. His 132 career TD rank 3rd among NFL QB in their first 5 seasons

Now both superstars are enduring unfamiliar and formidable obstacles in their lives such as criticism, doubt, failing to meet expectations and two surgically-repaired shoulders that leave their 2017 seasons in doubt.

Cams 2016 season started off poorly as he got bludgeoned with a barrage of dirty hits and headshots and it was an omen for what would become a dreadful season. Cam took quite a beating, culminating with a surgically repaired torn rotator cuff and internal and public pushes for him to chill on the running game and focus on precision passing.

“I can’t let that happen again. Ever,” Newton recently told reporters at Panthers camp.  “I just want to get my swag back.”

According to and various sources reporting out of Panthers camp, Newton admitted the experience was ‘humbling.’ Newton said he locked in earlier than usual in the offseason, and that it’s one of the reasons he reported to camp lighter. He also said he has no plans to stop running. “That’s my edge. You going to expect a lion not to roar?”

Cam Newton is not expected to play in the Panthers’ preseason opener on Wednesday, but he is expected to play at some point during the preseason. Newton has not thrown a pass in live drills since complaining of soreness before last Tuesday’s practice. He has gotten in some light throws off to the side in recent days, He is still on track for Week 1, but who knows what kind of shape he will be in and with teams knowing he is banged up, and Cam’s insistence on running, teams will only increase the pressure and ferocity of the hits.

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Cam Newton will not play in the Panthers preseason opener as he is recovering from a shoulder injury.

Cam seems to think that he’s still in a movie, so I hope he guards his grill because the Von Millers of the world are coming.

Luck has suffered myriad injuries over the past few seasons, playing just 22 games in 2015 and 2016. The Stanford product has taken more hits than a crash dummy. A projected return date for Luck, who is coming off surgery to his invaluable right shoulder, is still up in the air.

Therefore, so is the Colts season.

“We are where we are with that,” Pagano told reporters Tuesday, via ESPN. “There’s no timeline. When they say he’s healthy and ready to go, we’ll get him out there. He’s played a lot of football.”

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Andrew Luck ‘i’m Not Setting A Return Date From Surgery’ | Apr 17, 2017 (pls RT) #ESPN

The Colts are being cautious with their 27-year-old golden-armed leader, but right now, the team is convinced that Scott Tolzien is the answer. Problem is, no one else in Colts Nation is.

Both Carolina and Indy have invested gold mines in quarterbacks whose futures looked so bright just a few seasons ago. Now, we are just hoping they can get on the field and be the same pigskin slingers after having their money-making limbs cut and spliced. NFL careers are like shooting stars. They come and go quicker than you can say shoulder surgery.

There was a time not too long ago when Cam Newton and Andrew Luck were untouchable, new jacks blazing a futuristic path in the NFL with their indestructible durability, size, and dual talents. No longer the young guns, survival, and health now fuel their daily passions. Let’s see how they deal with reality going forward.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.