Quarterback Cam Newton will miss the Carolina Panthers' final preseason game after an MRI on Sunday revealed a hairline fracture in his ribs.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Newton will be evaluated at the end of the week, but expects the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback will be ready for Carolina's Sept. 7 regular season opener against Tampa Bay.
"I do" expect he'll play, Rivera said. "But he has to get past the soreness. Then we will see how he starts to progress."
Newton did not speak with reporters, but walked gingerly to and from the practice field.
"He's pretty sore and he's hurting right now," Rivera said. "It is of concern."
Newton was hit after scrambling from the pocket in Carolina's preseason game Friday night against New England. It came just a day after head coach Ron Rivera said Newton must start to avoid taking hits to keep himself healthy. How quickly Newton can get over the soreness will be key. The pain could obviously limit his rushing ability which is a big part of his fantasy game. It's something to be aware of as we head down the final stretch before the season.