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Cam Newton not playing Panthers' preseason opener

Cam Newton's preseason debut will wait at least one more week.

Coach Ron Rivera told reporters Tuesday that the starting quarterback wouldn't participate in Thursday's game versus the Chicago Bears.

The announcement that Newton would sit comes a day after Rivera said all four QBs "should" play. Evidently, after discussing it with his staff, Rivera decided the first preseason game wasn't the right time for Newton to face live action against an opponent for the first time since December.

Kyle Allen will start for the Panthers at quarterback. Third-round rookie Will Grier and Taylor Heinicke will also see action.

Newton underwent another shoulder surgery this offseason after he was shut down for the 2018 season with two games remaining.

Last week, Newton noted his recovery was "still a work in progress" but said he's felt good thus far. The Carolina brass has smartly brought him along slowly during offseason workouts. Sitting out the first preseason tilt is just another step in being precautious with the starter.

The 30-year-old quarterback spent the offseason revamping his throwing motion to help take pressure off the nagging shoulder. Reports out of Panthers camp have suggested the change has been going well and Newton hasn't had any setbacks.

Newton's first preseason game to unveil the reworked throwing motion to a full audience, however, will wait.

Like most teams, the starting quarterback isn't the only veteran getting the first preseason game off. Rivera said star linebacker Luke Kuechly would also sit out versus Chicago.

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