Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton who has been dealing with cracked ribs for the past two weeks, was listed as questionable for the teams season opener on Sunday. That means the Panthers believe Newton has a 50 percent chance of playing.
Newton is listed as questionable because he missed a lot of time in the off-season recovering from the surgery. While Saturday is a limited work day in the National Football League, he took reps with the starters as Newton seems poised to play against the Bucs.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said Newton threw passes and took reps as scheduled during Friday's practice.
“I do feel better. He did take the next step, kind of what we were hoping, especially in light of how he felt the other day,” Rivera said. “There was some concern obviously coming into practice. But he just seems to be getting stronger right now."
If Newton does not start on Sunday, it will most likely be backup quarterback Derek Anderson who would get the majority of the playing time.
“There’s some things you can’t measure, and that’s how he’s going to react if he gets hit. There’s some things that we can’t tell,” Rivera said. “So when we make our decision come Sunday morning, it’s going to be based on how we feel he’s done the last couple of days, how he feels in terms of handling what we want to do with the game plan and whether or not we believe he’ll be able to protect himself if he does take a shot. Again, this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
The Panters are hoping to repeat as NFC South champions but have a different recieving group and offensive line.