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NFL notebook: QB Newton to be sidelined 4 months after surgery

| Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 7:12 p.m.

Cam Newton will undergo surgery Wednesday on his left ankle and will be sidelined for four months, the 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 press 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.

Given that Newton won't be back until just before the start of training camp means he won't have much time to develop chemistry with the new receivers the team brings in to play this season.

The Panthers haven't signed any free agent receivers this offseason, although they did recently visit with Jerricho Cotchery from the Steelers.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera were unavailable for comment.

Colts owner seeks treatment after arrest

Jim Irsay's family says the Colts owner has placed himself in a treatment facility.

Irsay was arrested early Monday following a traffic stop in which police said he failed sobriety tests and had multiple prescription drugs inside his vehicle.

A three-sentence statement released Tuesday said Irsay on Monday had “voluntarily checked into a highly-respected health care facility and is committed to undergoing the treatment and care necessary to help him meet his challenges head-on.”

The 54-year-old Irsay, who acknowledged a painkiller dependency more than a decade ago, faces preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Colts spokesman Avis Roper says the statement came from Irsay's family and he had no further information. Myra Borshoff Cook, a spokeswoman for Irsay, declined comment.

If Irsay is charged and convicted on the felony counts, he could face six months to three years in prison on each count. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Andre Miksha said Monday that no decision had been made on formal charges and a hearing was set for March 26.

An NFL spokesman said Irsay is subject to discipline but didn't elaborate on what that might be.

Panthers sign Saints S Harper

The Panthers signed unrestricted free agent safety Roman Harper from the Saints to a two-year contract worth a reported $4.5 million.

Harper, 31, is expected to replace starter Mike Mitchell, who signed a free agent contract with the Steelers earlier this offseason.

Giants bring back WR Manningham

Mario Manningham, one of the Giants' most productive receivers from 2008-2011, will rejoin the team.

Manningham, a hero in the 2012 Super Bowl victory over New England, spent the last two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Those two seasons with the 49ers were cut short by injury. In 2012, he played in 12 games before tearing his ACL and missing San Francisco's postseason run to the Super Bowl. Last year, he began the season on the physically unable to perform list, returned to play in six games, but again ended up on injured reserve because of recurring issues with his knee.

He was the Giants' third-round draft choice in 2008, the 95th overall selection. In four years, he caught 160 passes for 2,315 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Around the league

The Jaguars signed free agent receiver Tandon Doss, giving the team a big target to complement Cecil Shorts III and Ace Sanders. … The state of Ohio will give a $10 million grant to the Pro Football Hall of Fame to reconstruct Fawcett Stadium, the field where the annual enshrinement and Hall of Fame game take place. … The NFL said it settled a lawsuit with a worker injured by ice and snow that fell from the roof of the Cowboys' stadium during the week before the 2011 Super Bowl. … Free agent wide receiver Andrew Hawkins joined the Browns after the Bengals declined to match an offer sheet for him.

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