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Sports

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NFL

Ankle surgery to idle Panthers’ QB

Newton

– Cam Newton will undergo surgery Wednesday on his left ankle and will be sidelined for four months, the Carolina Panthers announced.

The team said Tuesday the Pro Bowl quarterback has experienced soreness in the ankle since the end of last season and the problem simply wasn’t getting better.

“The ankle was sore after the San Francisco game and we wanted to see if rest would calm it down, but it is still bothering him and the decision was made to address it,” Panthers trainer Ryan Anderson said in a news release.

The Panthers lost to the 49ers on Jan. 12 in the NFC divisional playoffs.

The surgery will be performed by Panthers team physician Robert Anderson at Carolinas Medical Center. If all goes as expected, Newton could return before training begins at the end of July.

Newton led the Panthers to a 12-4 record last season and the NFC South championship. He was also selected to the Pro Bowl.

The news is particularly concerning for the Panthers since Newton is expected to be working with almost an entirely new group of wide receivers this season.

The Panthers released Steve Smith, the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions in a salary cap related move last week. Brandon LaFell, the team’s other starter last season, signed with New England in free agency while top reserves Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon signed free agent deals with Arizona and Chicago respectively.

Bears bring back defensive lineman

Chicago agreed to a one-year contract with defensive lineman Israel Idonije, bringing him back for a second stint.

They also released receiver Earl Bennett and added depth at safety, agreeing to one-year deals with Craig Steltz and Danny McCray.

Idonije, 33, spent last season with Detroit after playing his first nine for Chicago. He had just 11 tackles and a half-sack with the Lions, but played some of the best ball of his career toward the end of his time with the Bears.

Around the league

Cleveland signed free-agent wide receiver Andrew Hawkins to a four-year, $13.6 million contract after Cincinnati declined to match an offer sheet for him. …

Safety Brandon Meriweather re-signed with Washington after a week of testing free agency. …

New Orleans and free-agent fullback Erik Lorig agreed to a four-year deal. … Jacksonville signed free-agent receiver Tandon Doss.

… Carolina signed unrestricted free-agent safety Roman Harper from New Orleans to a two-year contract. … Receiver Mario Manningham, who spent the last two seasons with San Francisco, will rejoin the New York Giants.

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