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Panthers QB Cam Newton returns to practice field with beefed up flak jacket for protection

  • Panthers Steelers Football-1.jpg

    Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks around the edge of the field during warmup before the NFL preseason football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) (The Associated Press)

  • Panthers Preview Football-2.jpg

    FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2014, file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes against the New England Patriots in the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Foxborough, Mass. The Panthers want fourth-year quarterback Cam Newton to throw more and run less as he continues to grow as an NFL quarterback. That's because they want the two-time Pro Bowler to stay healthy. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File) (The Associated Press)

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to the practice field wearing an oversized flak jacket designed to provide added protection for his fractured ribs.

Newton smiled and even stopped to pose for a picture Monday with his newly enhanced armor before walking into practice, throwing passes and going through drills as normal.

It was the Newton's first practice since Aug. 22 when he had his ribs stepped on during a preseason game against the New England Patriots.

Coach Ron Rivera said last week Newton would be evaluated over the weekend but expected him to play in Week 1 at Tampa Bay.

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson also practiced after injuring his right hand during Carolina's preseason finale against Pittsburgh. In fact, all 53 players on the roster were suited up for practice.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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