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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