Sports

Panthers QB Cam Newton returns to practice after missing season opener with rib injury

  • Injured Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, left, and quarterback Joe Webb celebrate after the Panthers scored a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

    Injured Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, left, and quarterback Joe Webb celebrate after the Panthers scored a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)  (The Associated Press)

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12), left, shakes hands with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after the Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 20-14 in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown (12), left, shakes hands with Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after the Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 20-14 in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton throws a pass during an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday he expected Newton to start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday after missing the season opener at Tampa Bay with a rib injury. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

    Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton throws a pass during an NFL football practice in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday he expected Newton to start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday after missing the season opener at Tampa Bay with a rib injury. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)  (The Associated Press)

A smiling Cam Newton returned to practice, throwing the football with good velocity.

Wearing a thick, protective flak jacket, the Panthers fourth-year quarterback participated in the first 20 minutes of practice open to the media on Wednesday. He lined up with the first team offense as expected and didn't seem to have any problems throwing.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday he expected Newton to start against the Detroit Lions on Sunday after missing the season opener at Tampa Bay with a rib injury. Derek Anderson filled in for Newton and threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns as the Panthers defeated the Buccaneers 20-14.

It was the first missed start for Newton since coming into the league as the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

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