Cam Newton did not play in yesterday’s victory against the Buccaneers after fracturing his lower back in a car accident last week. As the Panthers make a push for the playoffs, the question now is will they have their starter back Sunday against the Browns.
Ron Rivera spoke with the media today and says that team doctors and trainers have established rehab goals to determine Newton’s status, but emphasized that he will play Newton only if he can protect himself.
“The goal is to get him back on the practice field when he’s ready to. I don’t want to sit there and say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to have him in there on Wednesday,’” coach Ron Rivera said. “We have an idea of what we’re hoping for, but we don’t know. If today goes well, but tomorrow’s not very good, it sets him back. If today goes well and tomorrow goes well, then who knows? Take each day day-by-day.”
“I don’t want to put a guy out there that can’t protect himself,” Rivera said Monday. “By that it’s being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way, stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get away. That’s all part of it. That’s all part of the decision that went into the first Tampa Bay game.”
Newton’s status will be updated Wednesday.