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Panthers QB Newton has fractured rib

<p>Carolina quarterback Cam Newton suffered a hairline fracture to a rib during Friday's preseason game against New England.</p>

Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Carolina quarterback Cam Newton suffered a hairline fracture to a rib during Friday's preseason game against New England.

Newton suffered the injury late in the second quarter when he scrambled and absorbed a hit from Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is optimistic Newton, who had offseason ankle surgery, will be able to play in the Sept. 7 opener at Tampa Bay.

Newton threw 24 touchdown passes and ran for six more scores last season. He completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 3,379 yards.

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