Head coach Ron Rivera wanted to nip any possible panic immediately during Thursday afternoon’s press conference, during which Carolina’s injury report showed that quarterback Cam Newton was “limited.”
Rivera said that all that means is Newton had a “maintenance day.”
“We’re going to do this with our veteran guys, we’re going to up-and-down them,” he said. “The only thing we’re really trying to maintain, obviously, is the shoulder. We’re following the protocol that is set up by our doctors and trainers, and we’re just going to follow it. This is something that is going to be part of his maintenance as we go through the season.”
So ... the ‘new normal’ for Newton, then?
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“Yes. Thank you. That’s a good way to put that, I like that,” Rivera said. Newton will still be involved in all practice activities that don’t require him to overwork his surgically repaired shoulder.
Rivera was also asked if Newton had any soreness after last weekend, and said Newton did not.
The Panthers got a bit of good news on Thursday as well, with the full return to practice of defensive tackle Vernon Butler.
“He’s having a good week,” Rivera said. “He’s practiced very well. They completely just cut him loose to us, so he’s been doing everything he should be doing, doing all the individual, involved in all the game planning stuff. So unless he has a setback tomorrow, he should be ready to go on Sunday.”