Cam Newton: ‘No doubt’ I’ll be ready for Week 1

Exhale, Panthers fans. Your franchise quarterback will be under center on Sept. 7.

Per the Charlotte Observer, Cam Newton, who’s dealing with cracked ribs, affirmed he’ll be ready for the regular season opener in Tampa Bay.

“There’s no doubt in my mind,” Newton said. “I’m just going to worry about things that I can control. I’m going to continue to come in and get as much treatment as possible so my body will be 100 percent.”

Newton was injured in the team’s third preseason contest, when he was kneed in the lower back by a defender at the conclusion of a scramble. Although he felt well enough to re-enter the game, an MRI revealed he sustained a hairline fracture in several ribs, initially clouding his Week 1 status.

Newton wouldn’t say whether he plans to slide more often — he didn’t on the aforementioned play — but asserted that his game will remain the same.

“Nothing’s different than the obvious that I hurt the rib section of my body. The pads (flak jacket) that I’ve had have been nicked to a degree,” Newton said. “But nothing to the extent that will change my playing style or make me uncomfortable.”

The Panthers could be in for a shootout against the Buccaneers, who boast a potentially dangerous offense. With that being the case, they’re going to need Newton to play — and play well.

(Photo credit: AP/Bob Leverone)

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Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).