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Newton counts his blessings after crash

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Two days after escaping serious injury in an auto accident, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to the team’s practice facility on Thursday saying he was thankful to be alive.

Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his back during the collision on Tuesday near Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. His pickup truck rolled over and was severely damaged.

“I’m looking at this truck and thinking someone’s supposed to be dead,” Newton told reporters. “I couldn’t stop smiling.”

The 25-year-old Newton was held overnight at Carolinas Medical Center and released on Wednesday.

“I feel great,” Newton said. “I could be feeling much worse, as we all know. Me being a religious person, you know, God is good, man, and looking at the situation at hand, I’m lucky to be standing in front of you guys right now.”

Newton has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Backup Derek Anderson will start in his place.

“I do not want this to be a distraction for this game coming up this week,” Newton said. “I’m backing D.A. 100 percent and can’t wait to see these guys play.”

Newton doesn’t have a timetable for his return — and frankly it didn’t matter to him on Thursday.

“When I’m coming back, who cares? That’s not something I’m worried about right now,” he said. “I’m just thankful to have breath in my lungs so I can breathe again,” Newton said.

Newton was counting his blessings that he survived.

“I’m on somebody’s fantasy league. And I think it’s the man upstairs,” Newton said.


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