STEVE REED AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to the practice field wearing an oversized flak jacket designed to provide added protection for his fractured ribs.
Newton smiled and even stopped to pose for a picture Monday with his newly enhanced armor before walking into practice, throwing passes and going through drills as normal.
It was the Newton’s first practice since Aug. 22 when he had his ribs stepped on during a preseason game against the New England Patriots.
Coach Ron Rivera said last week Newton would be evaluated over the weekend but expected him to play in Week 1 at Tampa Bay.
Backup quarterback Derek Anderson also practiced after injuring his right hand during Carolina’s preseason finale against Pittsburgh. In fact, all 53 players on the roster were suited up for practice.
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