Carolina Panthers

Panthers’ plan in motion to get Cam Newton – who’s ‘trending up’ – ready for Jaguars

Panthers coach after loss to Titans: 'Gotta get back to physical football'

Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera talks about what he saw in the preseason loss against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. He also addressed Cam Newton's recovery.
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Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera talks about what he saw in the preseason loss against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. He also addressed Cam Newton's recovery.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was a spectator again Saturday, but his activity level is about to pick up.

After Newton missed his second consecutive exhibition against the Titans, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the team plans to increase Newton’s throwing this week with the hope of having him play Thursday in Jacksonville.

“He had a real good week this week, really pleased with it,” Rivera said. “He’s on target. We’re happy with it. His workouts really have been good.”

Newton, who developed pain in his surgically repaired shoulder during training camp, participated in both of the Panthers’ joint practices with the Titans in Nashville. He threw in 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills Thursday, but did not take part in the 11-on-11 work.

While the Panthers have a short turnaround before their third preseason, Rivera noted it will not be a short week for Newton because he didn’t play. Rivera said Newton’s status for the Jaguars game will be determined strictly by how he’s feeling.

“Everything’s been trending up. Everything’s been positive,” Rivera said. “It’s been really good.”

Carolina Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey describes his first NFL touchdown, a 17-yard run against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2017.

Three starters out against Titans

Newton was among three starters who didn’t play Saturday.

Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was held out with sore ribs, while the Panthers continue to be cautious with center Ryan Kalil, who is coming back from season-ending shoulder surgery last year.

Rivera said Kalil has not had any setbacks, while Kuechly said his situation is nothing serious.

“I just banged them. There’s nothing wrong with them. They decided to give me a little breather,” he said. “It’s not that a big deal. If we were playing tomorrow, I’d be good to go.”

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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