The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be in luck today: Cam Newton could be held out of today's game between the Carolina Panthers, even though the quarterback himself wants to play. That's what Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network today.
Per @RapSheet on TV, Ron Rivera may hold Cam Newton out despite Cam's insistence that he can play.— Leo (@LeoHowell8) September 7, 2014
That fits with what Ronde Barber said on Sirius XM radio, that Derek Anderson was present in the Panthers' production meeting (via JoeBucsFan).That doesn't usually happen, and it signals that there's a genuine chance Newton won't play.
Newton cracked a rib in the third preseason game, but did participate fully in Friday's practice. The Panthers listed him as Questionable going into the game.
If Cam Newton can't go, Derek Anderson is not a viable replacement. The veteran has a career completion percentage of 52.8%, couldn't beat out the inimitable Max Hall as the starting quarterback in Arizona in his last starting gig, and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. He also lacks Newton's explosive athleticism.
The last time the Bucs faced Derek Anderson, he completed 16/24 passes for 234 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Cardinals, in a loss.