Kealoha Pilares

Fractured rib sidelines Panthers QB Newton

Fractured rib sidelines Panthers QB Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has a hairline fracture in one of his ribs, and he was ruled out of the preseason finale, Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Coach Ron Rivera expects his team's most important player to be ready for the regular-season opener, Sept. 7 at Tampa Bay, but that certainly is not a guarantee.

"There is a lot of concern. This morning he came in, and he was very, very sore," Rivera said after Sunday's practice, one Newton watched while walking the sideline gingerly. "We expect him to get past the soreness the next few days and then be able to do a lot more as the days go."

Newton, who still is not 100 percent...