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Cam Newton unlikely to play against Buccaneers due to rib injury

Cam Newton is unlikely to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which means the Carolina Panthers will likely turn to backup Derek Anderson.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk reports that the Carolina Panthers are unlikely to let Cam Newton play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today because of a rib injury he suffered in the preseason. Darin Gantt used to be a Panthers beat writer, so he's certainly got the connections to know this sort of thing.

If Cam Newton can't suit up, Derek Anderson is likely to take his place as the starter. Which is great news for Bucs fans, because Derek Anderson is not a good quarterback. And he's not going to look like a good quarterback behind that offensive line, against this defensive line.

Anderson's suited up against a Lovie Smith defense exactly once, back in 2009, and he managed to complete 6/17 passes for 76 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked once. That's a passer rating of 10.5. An impressive level of incompetence, though he did do so while playing for the Browns, so mitigating circumstances.

The Panthers have to officially announce their inactive players 90 minutes before kickoff. The game starts at 4:25 p.m. ET, so we'll know by 3:00 p.m. whether or not the Panthers plan on starting Cam Newton. Even if he's active, the Panthers could still sit Newton and only bring him in if absolutely necessary, though.