CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was held out of practice due to soreness in his ribs.
However, coach Ron Rivera still thinks Newton will start the season opener Sunday at Tampa Bay, saying, "I'm optimistic and I expect him to be there. We will see how it all unfolds. We have to look at this day by day."
Rivera had expected Newton to practice, but the fourth-year QB was still sore from practice Monday and working out on the side with the trainers Tuesday.
Newton did not speak with reporters as he normally does on Wednesdays because he was undergoing treatment on his fractured ribs.
Derek Anderson took the first-team reps at quarterback.
Newton has never missed a start in three seasons with the Panthers.