The Carolina Panthers stroke of bad luck continues and it may radiate until the 2017 NFL season kicks off. After falling short last season following a superb Super Bowl 50 appearance, the Panthers will have void following reports that Cam Newton will be undergoing surgery on his shoulder.

Newton will go under the knife to repair a partially torn rotator cuff on March 30. He is expected to miss the team’s organized training sessions. The 27-year-old star incurred the injury when the Panthers faced the San Diego Chargers in Week 14.

Cam Newton timetable

If surgery goes well, Newton could be back in 12 weeks and take part in an early throwing program.

Assuming all goes well, he can start throwing with the team in 16 weeks. The target date for Newton to return is by the start of training camp.

Right now, that may be too close to call meaning the Panthers may want to skim the free agent market for options. One name that comes to mind is Colin Kaepernick.

Will Kaepernick fit?

The 29-year-old quarterback recently opted out of his deal with the San Francisco 49ers but remains available. While Kaepernick is undoubtedly talented, no team has made a call to at least talk to him.

The Panthers could try out Kaepernick for now as a safety measure. It would allow him to stay in shape and hopefully draw some attention from teams who need convincing. It could also keep him busy and stay away from the distractions which overshadowed his stint last season.

As most know, his last tenure with the 49ers was tainted with kneeling protests and an unusual support for the late Fidel Castro. He did get a chance to speak with new 49ers management (John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan) before opting out. Kaepernick is obviously looking for bigger pay and be a starter.

In all, getting Kaepernick may be nothing more than a practice player.

It could end after the Panthers offseason program though all that will need the blessing of team owner Jerry Richardson. There are other players the Panthers can consider to temporarily fill in for Newton but this one involving Kaepernick seems like a win-win situation for both sides.

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