CHARLOTTE, N.C. -

After a couple months of hand-wringing over Cam Newton's ankle surgery, the quarterback appeared to be ahead of schedule during the second of the Carolina Panthers' 10 organized team activities Wednesday.

He did not participate in drills, but Newton spent the entire session on the field. In between chats with coaches, quarterbacks and wideouts, he played light catch. Afterward, he ran through patterns with a small receiver group that included first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin.

"(Cam's) been throwing the ball on the side the last few days," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. "He says that foot's getting stronger and stronger every day, so we're excited about what's happening for him."

Newton is expected to return for the start of training camp, and the Panthers hope to have Greg Hardy's legal situation settled by then as well.

The defensive end was arrested earlier this month on charges of domestic violence. His next court date is scheduled for June 27, but the team has no plans to hold him out of any offseason workouts.

Like Newton, Hardy did not speak to reporters Wednesday, but fellow defensive end Charles Johnson said, "I don't get into what people do in their personal life. As long as they come to practice and work, that's all I care about."