The Panthers wanted to play Cam Newton this week against the Steelers, because frankly, he needed the work.
But that’s not going to happen, as their quarterback is nursing a new injury.
According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, Newton suffered a hairline fracture to a rib Friday night against the Patriots, and won’t play this week.
“There is a lot of concern. This morning he came in, and he was very, very sore,” Rivera said. “We expect him to get past the soreness the next few days, and then be able to do a lot more as the days go.”
Rivera said he was confident Newton would be ready to go for the regular season opener, but that’s an immediate concern that overlooks the bigger issue.
The Panthers have a substandard offensive line. Left tackle Byron Bell and right guard Trai Turner were among a number of players missing Sunday, and they don’t know who the right tackle is. They have a brand new corps of wide receivers. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula is not, as they say, innovative.
Couple that with Newton — who clearly has been bothered by his ankle after offseason surgery — missing so much offseason time, and there are plenty of reasons to worry about the Panthers regressing.