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Cam Newton medically cleared, expected to play preseason Week 2

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Cam Newton is medically cleared and will play in Week 2 of the preseason.
Cam Newton is medically cleared and will play in Week 2 of the preseason. (USATSI)

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The Panthers offense is slowly starting to come together and we might finally get a look at the full unit in the second week of the preseason with the return of quarterback Cam Newton.

Newton was medically cleared per Ron Rivera and is expected to play against the Chiefs on Sunday night.

"Cam is on track to do the things we need him to do now," Rivera said. "We've mapped out a lot of things. We're now getting to the point where the work load is going to increase and things are going to change and we're going to do things differently now.''

One of the things Newton won't be working on? Scrambling.

Rivera said Cam's gameplan, based on his offseason ankle surgery, won't include a high amount of improvisation during the Chiefs game.

Pretty sound logic considering how quickly Newton could re-injure the foot.

The problem is Carolina can't be too cautious with Newton, who is getting an all-new crop of wideouts to play with this year.

Newton's practiced with Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant -- the top three wideouts and all new faces -- but he doesn't have live-game action with them. That's a problem.

Don't be surprised if you see them play for a while either. Rivera noted the starters could stick around longer in Week 2 by virtue of the short turnaround Carolina faces before the third week of the preseason, when starters typically see the most run.

"I'd hate to play half a game [against Kansas City] and then, bam, on a short week we're traveling on Thursday, playing on Friday and expect the guys to play [well],'' Rivera said. "So we may play them a little bit longer than you normally would in the second game and not quite as long in the third game."

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