Ron Rivera declares Cam Newton “ready” after two preseason passes

AP

Carrying a pair of kickers isn’t the only fluid situation the Panthers are dealing with, or nearly the most important one.

There’s also the small matter of their former MVP quarterback going into the regular season having thrown two passes in preseason games.

But Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he was confident Cam Newton was going to be fine Sunday in San Francisco, when the Panthers open a season of offensive unknowns.

I think he’s ready,” Rivera said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “You wish he’d had a few more snaps and played a little bit earlier in the preseason so we’d have more to go on. But what we saw, we liked.

“We liked how everything seems to be meshing together as an offense. We’ll see how it goes as we continue to work this week.”

Newton played one series in the third preseason game (a 10-play touchdown drive which feature two passes, both complete), as they’ve been deliberate and careful with his return from shoulder surgery on March 30. He started training camp by throwing four straight days, but then needed 12 straight days off to combat the inevitable soreness.

They were confident enough in his health to part ways with veteran third-stringer Joe Webb, which left Derek Anderson as their only experienced backup. They claimed Brad Kaaya off waivers to develop for the future, but their moves don’t indicate a significant concern about Newton’s health. His being ready to run the offense is another question.