FOXBORO -- There seemed to be something wrong as soon as it happened.
Late in the second quarter of New England's preseason game with Carolina, Panthers quarterback Came Newton scrambled up the middle of the field for a seven-yard gain. Newton could juke his way out of the path of Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins and so Newton hit the turf as the two were set to collide, with Collins falling on top of him.
It took Newton a moment to get up following the hit and he soon jogged off the field with a Panthers trainer. Coach Ron Rivera told reporters after the game that Newton had suffered a back contusion but that x-rays were negative.
"You know, he got the wind knocked out of him, and he is sore, but there is nothing there," Rivera said. "There really isn’t. They took x-rays and those were negative. But again, we brought him back in, he got checked, and once he was in, they kept him in and worked his ankle. But there was absolutely nothing."
As Rivera explained, backup Derek Anderson came in for one play before Newton returned to the field. After he was re-inserted, Newton went 3-for-6 for 31 yards passing. In the game he totaled 88 yards on 8-of-12 passing. He also rushed for 12 yards on three carries and was sacked three times.