A thankful Cam Newton addressed the media Thursday for the first time since his two-car accident, saying he's thankful to be alive.
The Carolina Panthers franchise quarterback sustained two fractures in his lower back, but is otherwise OK following the Tuesday afternoon wreck in uptown Charlotte that left Newton's pickup truck totaled.
"I'm on somebody's fantasy league, and I think it's the man upstairs," said Newton, who wore a blue hoodie and leaned on the podium during his seven-minute press conference.
Never miss a local story.
"As far as when I'm coming back, who cares?" Newton said. "I'm just thankful that I have breath in my lungs."
Newton will miss Sunday's game against Tampa Bay, and said he didn't want his situation to become a distraction for the Panthers.
Newton was at Bank of America Stadium early Thursday to begin treatment and attend positional meetings.
Newton said seeing pictures of his 1998 Dodge Ram, with its smashed cab on the passenger's side, make him realize how fortunate he was.
"Every time I see that flashback of looking at that truck, I'm surprised that nothing serious was done to me," he said. "I'm just lucky to come out of there unscathed."
Newton said he never lost consciousness during the wreck, which occurred at the intersection of Church and Hill streets a block from the Panthers' stadium.
Newton was traveling south on Church when he saw the other driver, Nestor Pellot Jr., pull out and attempt to cross Chuch in a Buick sedan. Newton said he attempted to avoid Pellot's car, but the Buick "clipped the back of my truck."
Newton said the airbags deployed in his truck, and he sustained no external cuts or injuries.
"I really couldn't talk afterwards because I was in such shock," Newton said. "I got myself out the truck, and I couldn't stop smiling."