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Charlotte, N.C. — Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Cam Newton will “probably” start Sunday against the Cleveland Browns barring any physical setbacks this week.

The Panthers increased the fourth-year quarterback’s workload on Thursday and Rivera says Newton seemed to handle it well. However, Rivera was hesitant on naming Newton the starter in case he begins to experience soreness in his back.

Rivera says, “I would say he is on target. He had a good day and took the reps he was supposed to.”

Newton says he’s pain-free.

He was a full participant in practice, nine days after he was involved in a two-vehicle crash that left him hospitalized for one night with two fractures in his lower back.

Newton says, “If I can play, we all know I want to play.”

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