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Carolina Panthers could head to Pittsburgh with only 1 quarterback

0826PANTHERS_01
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) and Ryan Vermillion, head athletic trainer, talk as they arrive at practice on Monday. Newton will miss Thursday’s exhibition at Pittsburgh with a hairline fracture of a rib.

Because of injuries and an expectant mother, there’s a chance the Carolina Panthers could go to Pittsburgh for Thursday night’s exhibition with just one quarterback – third-teamer Joe Webb.

Cam Newton is out with a cracked rib, fourth-stringer Matt Blanchard is sidelined after sustaining a concussion last week, and the wife of backup Derek Anderson is expecting the couple’s first child any day.

If Anderson doesn’t make the trip, Rivera joked the plan will be for Webb not to get hurt. Webb, who started a playoff game for Minnesota two years ago, said he’s no stranger to a heavy workload.

“If I have to play a whole game, I’ve done it before,” Webb said. “It’ll be fun to go out with the guys and put a smile on their face and go out there, relax and have fun.”

Rivera said the Panthers would not sign another quarterback, but have a couple of players who could serve as emergency quarterbacks if needed.

Rivera would not identify the players, saying he didn’t want other teams to “scoop them up” after learning they could play quarterback in a pinch.

Meanwhile, Newton appeared to be walking with less discomfort Monday when he arrived at practice. Newton has been attending meetings and walkthroughs while the Panthers have begun their preparations for the Buccaneers.

“He’s with the coordinator (Mike Shula). He’s with the quarterbacks coach (Ken Dorsey) and they’re talking about what they’re looking at, why we’re looking at it,” Rivera said. “So Cam’s getting a feel for Tampa Bay right now.”

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