Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters Thursday that no decision has been made on whether his starting quarterback will suit up for Carolina's preseason opener as Newton continues to rebound from March ankle surgery.
"We don't know the plan yet for Cam for Friday," Rivera said, per the team's official site. "It's all based on what RV and the doctors think and how Cam feels. Once we get past ... Thursday morning, we'll find out how he is after the practice and we'll sit down and talk and make a decision on what we want to do, in as far as he's concerned, in terms of playing time."
Even if he plays, Newton won't see more than a series or two, which "would involve a lot of handing the ball off," per Rivera.
It's no surprise. FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez tweeted Wednesday that Newton is still not scrambling in practice, with the quarterback telling him that he's "still kind of reluctant with mobility" after saying last month that he's "not 100 percent yet."
Cam has a month to heal, but we aren't expecting a monster season on the ground after last year's carries (111) and yardage (585) marked career lows. He can match those totals, but designed runs won't be an emphasis out of the gate.
If he's limited in any way, it only puts more pressure on one of the league's more suspect group of wide receivers.