The Carolina Panthers face the Tennessee Titans this week, and for the second straight preseason game, quarterback Cam Newton will not play, according to ESPN’s David Newton. Derek Anderson will get the start, and Joe Webb and Garrett Gilbert will come off the bench.
Newton took part in a pair of joint practices this week with the Titans, but did not throw in team drills. Head coach Ron Rivera told the media after Thursday’s practice that any decision would be made after they evaluated Newton’s surgically-repaired shoulder. Rivera mentioned rustiness, and while he was throwing the ball well, Rivera said Newton still had to work himself into the kind of shape where he can take normal throwing reps.
The Panthers’ goal is to have Newton ready for the Week 1 opener against the San Francisco 49ers. They seem comfortable with Newton potentially not playing in any preseason games, but his progression in throwing at practice will be interesting to track. Last year, Colin Kaepernick came off shoulder surgery and developed a tired arm two weeks into training camp. He did not play the first two preseason games, but played in the final two. Kaepernick had his shoulder surgery the previous winter, whereas Newton had his in March. It sounds like they were different issues in the shoulder, but this is still going to be something to track as that 49ers opener approaches.