Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton practiced Friday despite a rib injury, but is listed as questionable for Sunday's opener against Tampa Bay.
Coach Ron Rivera said Newton looked "pretty good" during practice, but said it will likely be a game-time decision. He wants to see how the signal-caller feels Saturday before even considering his status for Sunday.
"Cam took all of his reps today," said Rivera on Friday. "He did throw with the (first-team) offense. It was a good sign, but we'll see how he is (Saturday) morning. He took the next step."
Newton was a limited participant in practice Thursday after missing Wednesday's session.
"There's some things you can't measure and that's how he is going to be after he's hit," Rivera added. "There was some concern the other day, but he's not favoring anything."
Newton, who says he's never missed a football game, is recovering from a fractured rib he suffered in a preseason game against New England when a defender's knee caught the quarterback in a "dead spot" in his pads where there was no protection.
He said Thursday that passing is "sometimes manageable" and other times not, but that he's not currently in pain. The injury makes it hard to sleep and make sudden moves, among other things, and the variety of passes he has to throw can sometimes be challenging, Newton said.
The former No. 1 draft pick led all NFL quarterbacks in rushing attempts (111) and yards (585) last season during Carolina's run to the NFC South title. He set career bests with 24 touchdown passes and a 61.7 percent completion rate.