CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton missed a third straight day of practice while in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Derek Anderson is expected to start at quarterback on Monday night against Tampa Bay. Anderson is 2-0 as Carolina’s starter, with both wins coming against the Bucs in 2014.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera wasn’t quite ready to rule out the league’s MVP for Monday night, saying only “he’s in the protocol.” However, Newton hasn’t made it outside to watch any of the practices this week in preparation for the Buccaneers.
Newton hasn’t spoken to the media since entering the concussion protocol on Sunday when he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker Deion Jones in the fourth quarter of a 48-33 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Newton isn’t the only one hurting. The Panthers are limping toward their bye in Week 7.
Three other Carolina starters missed their third straight day of practice: running back Jonathan Stewart (hamstring), left tackle Michael Oher (concussion) and cornerback James Bradberry (toe). None of those players are expected to be ready to play against the Buccaneers.
“I think our guys have the ability but this is certainly a next-man-up mentality,” Rivera said. “It’s not like we haven’t done it before. But this is a challenge. It’s a challenge for everybody on this football team and it’s a challenge for me as a coach and a challenge for our assistant coaches.”
Carolina also waived starting cornerback Bene Benwikere on Friday in a surprise move. Rookie Daryl Worley is expected to take his place in the lineup.
Backup defensive tackle Vernon Butler (ankle), the team’s first-round draft pick, is out again this week.
Also, three other Carolina starters — linebacker Thomas Davis (hamstring), fullback Mike Tolbert (hamstring) and defensive end Charles Johnson (quad) — were limited in practice on a wet field.