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Cam Newton unlikely for Week 15 after car accident

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Don't expect to see Cam Newton on the field when the Panthers host the Buccaneers on Sunday.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, via team sources, that the Panthers believe it's unlikely Newton will play in Week 15 after suffering a back injury in a car accident near team headquarters on Tuesday. Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his lower back in a violent collision that caused his truck to flip on the roadway.

Newton was discharged from the hospital Wednesday morning, the team announced, adding that he is experiencing soreness but is in good spirits.

According to a Charlotte Mecklenburg police report, no one was charged in the incident and it appeared to be a routine accident.

If Newton is indeed sidelined, the Panthers will turn to veteran Derek Anderson in a near must-win game against the 2-11 Bucs. Anderson started and won the season opener when Newton was held out of action due to a rib injury. It is the only game Newton has missed in his four-year NFL career.

Newton has a back injury similar to the one suffered earlier this season by Tony Romo. The Cowboys' quarterback, who was injured after taking a knee to his lower back, missed one game before making his return.

Though Anderson played well in his September spot start, the Panthers' dim playoff hopes are effectively nil if Newton misses extended time. There's no replacing Superman in Charlotte.

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