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Panthers' Ron Rivera 'still confident' Cam Newton will start Week 1

Panthers' Ron Rivera 'still confident' Cam Newton will start Week 1 Photo: George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron River said Monday that he's "still confident" quarterback Cam Newton will start the team's Week 1 game Sunday, according to Jason Quick of The Oregonian.

Newton sustained a hairline fracture in his rib during an Aug. 22 preseason game and sat out of the Panthers final exhibition. According to Quick, Newton worked out Sunday and practiced Monday while wearing a flak jacket to protect his ribs.

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"It was another good day; I'm excited,'' Rivera said.

Rivera still wants to see how Newton's rib responds on Tuesday, a day the Panthers have off, and then again on Wednesday when practice resumes.

If Newton is unable to go against the Buccaneers Sunday, backup Derek Anderson will start in his place. 

- Molly Geary

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