Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
By SI Wire
September 03, 2014

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton did not practice Wednesday, but is expected to play Sunday against the Buccaneers, Carolina head coach Ron Rivera said.

"I'm optimistic," Rivera said. "I expect him to be there, and we'll see how it all unfolds."

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Newton suffered a hairline rib fracture in Carolina's Aug. 22 preseason game and did not play in the preseason finale. 

Rivera also said Newton had been wearing a flak jacket in practice this week and would wear it during the game. 

The Panthers open the season on the road against Tampa Bay on Sunday. 

- Dan Gartland

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