Cam Newton hopeful for Week 1 after missing practice

At this time last week, Cam Newton and Ron Rivera both expressed certainty that a rib injury would not prevent the Carolina Panthers' quarterback from starting versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener.

After rib soreness caused Newton to miss Wednesday's practice, that certainty has shifted to optimism.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday's edition of Around The NFL that Newton is hopeful the soreness will subside enough to practice on Thursday. Newton struggled a bit to get loose, per Rapoport, and decided the day was better spent getting treatment.

"I'm optimistic. I expect him to be there, and we'll see how it all unfolds," coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday, via The Charlotte Observer. "We've got to look at this as we go through it day by day."

As long as Newton returns on Thursday, he should be all systems go for Sunday's game. If he sits out again, though, the Panthers will have to revisit their quarterback decision.

The latest "Around The NFL Podcast" previews the Packers-Seahawks opener and announces nominees for the new "Team of ATL."