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December 15, 2014

Rivera: Newton will play if he can protect himself

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says he will only play Cam Newton this week if he's confident his injured quarterback can protect himself against the Cleveland Browns.

Newton sat out Sunday's win against Tampa Bay after sustaining two fractures in his lower back during a two-car accident last week in Charlotte. Newton stood on the sideline during the game, cheering on No. 2 quarterback Derek Anderson.

Rivera said there's a rehab progression that doctors and trainers have laid out for Newton, and his status will be determined based on whether he meets those goals.

But Rivera said ultimately it will come down the coach's confidence that he won't be exposing Newton to further injury by playing him against the Browns.

"I don’t want to put a guy out there that can’t protect himself," Rivera said Monday. "By that it’s being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way, stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get away. That’s all part of it. That’s all part of the decision that went into the first Tampa Bay game."

Newton was sidelined for the Week 1 win at Tampa Bay with cracked ribs, despite lobbying Rivera to let him play.

Anderson is 2-0 this season while filling in for Newton in the only two games Newton has missed in his four-year career.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on December 15, 2014 at 01:13 PM | Permalink


Anderson won 2 games, Cam has won 3.
$ / win - Cam is too expensive.

But no, I am not saying Anderson is any more than a backup. Just saying unless Cam does better, he is not worth the $15mm that we will be shelling out next year.

Posted by: Richard Elliot | Dec 15, 2014 1:44:50 PM

The Cam that played the second New Orleans game is worth $20M per year.

The Cam that played the first New Orleans game is not worth much.

If the immobile Cam is playing against Cleveland, we might as well wrap it up-

Posted by: Gettlemen | Dec 15, 2014 2:06:24 PM

If we make no changes, we'll have an experienced, pro bowl, quarterback that can actually do a three step drop and hit a WR in stride, on his number, not over his head. He also will not throw it off his back foot and will run for a first down if needed.

Why in the world would you change that?

Posted by: Bob Smith | Dec 15, 2014 2:26:22 PM

because the guy you described makes worse decisions in where to throw the ball than the guy who runs for multiple first downs all the time.

everyone hates cam for the high throws (it's a flaw he needs to fix) but for every high throw, he makes a play that basically nobody else in the league can make to get a first down. as many times as he's been sacked this year, he's avoided many more that anderson would have had to eat. and cam's thrown PLENTY right on the money that benjamin and others have dropped. including several would be (probably should be) touchdowns.

let's keep in mind anderson's 2 wins were against tampa and they were close. and the 1 touchdown yesterday came off of a turnover that had us inside the 5.

talk about losing perspective. we haven't been losing this year because of cam. we've been losing because of poor O-line play, poor d-line play (early) and poor secondary play. we could have kept the key guys from last year but instead we paid them to play elsewhere or gave all of their money to greg hardy. i don't care if hardy had 20 sacks, you would still take munnerlyn, mitchell, smith and gross over just him.

all this said, by all means cam needs to spend his offseason working on mechanics (and benjamin could use the extra reps learning how to catch).

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 15, 2014 2:56:43 PM

I read way too many uninformed comments here. Anderson is a good backup but no better than 50% of the other #2 qbs in the league. It is good to have him here as a safeguard, knowing that if Cam can't play, DA is ready to go. Classy guy and good role player.

Posted by: Ed Green | Dec 15, 2014 3:02:17 PM

Bob Smith. I don't understand what your trying to say.

Cam has been to the Pro Bowl, he has experience, he can run or pass for first downs.

The offensive line that he has been asked to pass behind has a been a complete, inconsistent joke. Finally, when they gel against N.O., you see what Cam can do if he has time.

So what if he throws off his back foot. So did Steve Young & Brett Favre. He hits his receivers in the hands and they drop passes. Anderson was throwing high and low all game against one of the worst teams in the NFL. And he couldn't score in the redzone.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Dec 15, 2014 3:17:14 PM

Let's get real Cam will not play this Sunday. DA and the team can play well enough to win against the Browns. The real decision will be with the Falcons...will Cam be well enough to play? If Cam is mobile he should play. If not we have enough experience what Cam not mobile will produce. Cam is our QB and we are very fortunate to have one of the best backups (DA could start for some teams).

Posted by: DWM | Dec 15, 2014 4:31:14 PM

I guess I was the only one who thought it was obvious DA is not better than Cam. I mean the first few drives stalled, where Newton would typically convert. If healthy Cam were playing yesterday it would have easily been 28 points before the half...

Posted by: Kelly Tripuka | Dec 15, 2014 5:00:16 PM

johnny football gonna outplay cam if cam plays. DA will win it if he starts.

Posted by: tony clifton | Dec 15, 2014 5:31:42 PM

Lets go Bears!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡!¡

Posted by: Zowie | Dec 15, 2014 8:28:17 PM

Coach you mentioned in a statement that your old coach Ditka told you your starting this week and not to F... it up and you obliged and played your best game ,Derek was cut by the cleveland browns I say he has something to prove to them to show them they made a huge mistake in letting him go,Coach return the favor to Derek that Ditka did for you, Just make sure you tell him what Ditka told you,Don`t F... it up.

Posted by: joe | Dec 15, 2014 9:34:42 PM

Anyone that thinks that Anderson is better than Cam is being super duper retarded. Cam Newton and the Panthers put up 41 points against the Saints and fans ask: "Where was that consistency earlier in the season?"

Anderson and the Panthers put up 19 points and fan cry out: "Future franchise QB!" despite the fact that he's 31 years of age.

To put it plain and simple for all the idiots that can't comprehend, the Panthers have doing much better lately due to an improved offensive line. Our young rookie guards have been improving steadily throughout the season and the emergence of Mike Remmers at RT finally got the offensive line over the hump. We now have a decent, not good, but decent offensive line behind which you can make plays against the terrible teams left on our schedule.

And it is good fortune that Jonathan Stewart, in my opinion the only decent running back on our roster, happens to come get healthy just in time to take the pressure off Anderson. Both the offensive line improvement and the renewed production in Stewart gives us a good chance to catapult us to the NFC South victors down the stretch.

But if Cam Newton is healthy come Sunday, we would be fools not to start him. He gives us a far better chance to win than Anderson does. And anyone that can't see that and point to his previous production earlier on in the season simply ignore the changes that have happened with this team since then.

Posted by: Revshawn | Dec 15, 2014 11:01:44 PM

I sprinkled some crack on Cam. He will play.

Posted by: The Cracken | Dec 15, 2014 11:42:15 PM

I`ve watched every game this season and I myself have never seen so many 3 and outs and 3rd downs that don`t get converted when Cam plays,Now that 1 game against the Saints Cam did look good but that game made no sense at all ,How does a team turn it on all of a sudden with 1 back up tackle on the line it just does not add up at all.Why did he play so poorly in all the other games are you going to say because he didnt have this 1 back up tackle on the o-line. Fast foward he has 2 hairline fractures in his lower back from the wreck now do you really think hes going to run out of the pocket and risk getting hit and get re-injured,No he will be a pocket passer and be 1 dementional and we all know he`s not the greatest pocket passer. Derek is the best and safest choice this week.

Posted by: Anonymous | Dec 16, 2014 12:15:37 AM

agree about remmer. stewart decent? he's been phenomenal. he hasn't had any blocking and STILL has managed good yardage.

williams hasn't been healthy, probably because of how bad the blocking has been. he still looks really good running the ball. they can't run AND clear holes for themselves at the same time.

they're still high level running backs in this league. they haven't been used like it under rivera, but they've had their moments to prove it here and there.

i expect they'll both be gone this offseason. gettleman will bring in a fringe CB and tell him he's playing running back now.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 16, 2014 12:17:03 AM


I am sure we'll pay stewie and dwill to play somewhere else in a "cap move". fuzzy gettleman math. :)

i miss steve.

Posted by: tony clifton | Dec 16, 2014 9:35:53 AM

Im`m beginning to think that loss to minnisota was vital to us, management should of brought remmers in way before that game as bad as our o=line play has been all season long, jut another unanswered question that doe not make since.

Posted by: joe | Dec 16, 2014 9:57:38 AM

we dont need a qb thats out there to survive and protect himself we need a qb thats 100% healthy and can move around and find the open receiver and be consistant,Cam cannot protect himself and be effective,he will have to take chances like running the ball and getting hit which brings me back to our best option this week which is DA. its all on the line now these last 2 games are must wins and that still may not be enough....Damn that minn. loss

Posted by: joe | Dec 16, 2014 10:06:38 AM

Derek Anderson is a pro bowl quarterback who always had to play on bad teams. This is the best team hes been on, and could help propel this team. Cam drags the team down and makes them look bad. Cam Newton drives stall all the time. #CamIsAwful

Posted by: Cam is awful | Dec 16, 2014 10:56:04 AM

Same fans that love Cam think Michael Brown was an angel.

Posted by: Cam is awful | Dec 16, 2014 10:57:21 AM

cam is a better choice for this weeks game

Posted by: jaquan smith | Dec 16, 2014 11:21:25 AM

If Derek Anderson had played all year, Derek, Kelvin Benjamin,and Olsen would be heading to the Pro bowl.

Posted by: Cam is awful | Dec 16, 2014 11:25:03 AM

Cam is never a better choice

Posted by: Cam is awful | Dec 16, 2014 11:26:21 AM

Cam is never a better choice

Posted by: Cam is awful | Dec 16, 2014 11:26:23 AM

It's too risky! I don't expect him too play, honestly if I was the coach I wouldn't allow him to play,

Posted by: Joe | Dec 16, 2014 2:19:24 PM

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