The Carolina Panthers' quarterback, suffering from a rib injury, was listed as questionable for the 4:25 p.m ET kickoff, after being a full participant in the team's final practice of the week.
"He took all the reps he was supposed to and he did throw," Rivera told reporters. "It was a good sign."
Rivera noted, however, that on one play during Friday's practice Newton checked and ran with the ball, "which is not what we want." If the Panthers are hamstrung because of Newton's injury, an already bland offense will be even more vapid and predictable.
The fourth-year quarterback has never missed an NFL start, but acknowledged Thursday that he won't put his team at risk by playing if he's not ready. Friday's practice is a good sign, but we won't know for sure until game day.
Of course, even if Newton starts Sunday it might only take one shot from Gerald McCoy to end his day.