Inside the Panthers

Panthers QB Cam Newton’s celebration costs Carolina pick-six

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton played only series Thursday, but the reigning league MVP managed to have an eventful night.

Newton completed 5-of-6 passes for 36 yards on the opening drive in the preseason opener at Baltimore, then cost linebacker A.J. Klein a touchdown later in the first quarter.

Newton was penalized for running onto the field during Klein’s interception return, which would have been a 95-yard runback for a touchdown. The NFL has made keeping players and coaches on the sideline an officiating point of emphasis this season, as Newton discovered Thursday.

Newton kept a safe distance from the field the rest of the first half, while Derek Anderson took over the offense.

The Panthers did score on the drive after Newton’s penalty. Anderson connected with Devin Funchess for a 10-yard touchdown reception a few plays later.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson