NFL Wire News

Newton joins Panthers at practice


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to the practice field just one week after he was injured in an auto accident.

Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his back during the crash on Dec. 9 near Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., but he was running and throwing passes during the Panthers’ workout on Wednesday and could play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

“Tomorrow will be a big day, especially in the morning, to see where (Newton) is health-wise, if he’s sore, if something’s bothering him,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “(The training staff) put him through some very rigorous stuff today with the intention of trying to stress it to see how he feels.”

Rivera is undecided whether Newton or backup Derek Anderson will start Sunday. The two shared reps with the first-team offense during practice.

“He’s progressed. (Tuesday) he had a real busy day. He came in early, did some of his treatment, went to his charity event, came back, did some more treatment, watched tape, did some more treatment and then went upstairs and met with the coaches,” Rivera said of Newton.

The Panthers (5-8-1) are still in the hunt for the NFC South title with the New Orleans Saints (6-8) and Atlanta Falcons (5-9) but need two wins to close the season and a Saints loss.

Having Newton available likely would help the Panthers’ cause.

“He went through all the drills,” Rivera said. “He went through all the team drills. He went through all the individual drills. He did all we had slated for him. This is a young man who is very strong-willed and very tough.”

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