TAMPA, Fla. - Quarterback Cam Newton's streak of consecutive starts will come to an end today.
Newton is inactive for the Panthers' season opener at Tampa Bay. Newton, who started all 48 games over his first three NFL seasons, hoped to be healed enough from a rib injury suffered August 22 to start.
Instead, veteran Derek Anderson will get his first start since joining the Panthers in 2011. Anderson's last NFL start was in 2010 with the Arizona Cardinals.
"D.A. is a competent player, and he's a very smart player," head coach Ron Rivera said Friday. "He's got a good arm – a lively arm – and he's got a great understanding of what we're doing on the offensive side. This is not the first time he's been in the system, either. He was in this system when he was in Cleveland, he had a version of it in Arizona, and now with us he's been in it four seasons.
"He's a guy that doesn't need a lot of practice reps to perform well, but he's had a lot of practice reps. I have a lot of confidence in who he is as a football player and as a quarterback."