Cam Newton hasn't quite recovered from his fractured ribs.
The Panthers fourth-year quarterback was held out of practice Wednesday due to soreness in his ribs. Coach Ron Rivera still thinks Newton will start the season opener Sunday at Tampa Bay.
"I'm optimistic and I expect him to be there," Rivera said. "We will see how it all unfolds. We have to look at this day by day."
Rivera said he had expected Newton to practice Wednesday. But the two-time Pro Bowler complained or soreness in the morning and after practicing on Monday and working out on the side with the trainers Tuesday.
This is something Newton, Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen owners should monitor throughout the week. Newton will likely play, but it's no sure thing, as Rivera's comments suggest.