His listing on the injury report stops short of making that definite, however. The Panthers listed Newton as questionable for the season opener due to his surgically repaired shoulder, although coach Ron Rivera said Friday that was a procedural decision rather than one based on any uncertainty about who will be playing quarterback.
“The only reason he’s listed as questionable is because that’s what the form says,” Rivera said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “I’m telling you guys I believe the guy is ready to roll. I really do mean it. I’m pretty confident in his abilities and hopefully things will fall into place nicely for us on Sunday.”
Rookie wide receiver Curtis Samuel is also listed as questionable with an ankle injury, but he joined Newton as a full participant in practice and is also expected to play this weekend.