is reporting that Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered a hairline fracture to a rib during Friday night's game against the New England Patriots.
Coach Ron Rivera is optimistic Newton, who missed most of the offseason recovering from surgery on his left ankle, will be ready to play in the Sept. 7 opener at Tampa Bay.
"I do [expect him to be ready], but a lot of it is he had to get past the soreness, which we expect, and we'll see how he starts to progress," Rivera said after Sunday's practice.
The injury occurred when New England linebacker Jamie Collins stepped on the quarterback's back at the end of a 7-yard scramble. He sat out a play and returned to the game.