Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton returned to practice Wednesday, although it remains unclear if the league’s most valuable player will play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
Newton took reps with the first-team offense after missing Monday night’s game against Tampa Bay because of a concussion.
Panthers Coach Ron Rivera said Newton remains in the league’s concussion protocol and it’s too early to know his status for this week’s game at the Superdome.
“He looked good and threw the ball pretty doggone well,” Rivera said. “He was involved in the plays that we had scripted for him and handled those very well.”
Rivera said now the team is waiting “with bated breath” to find out how Newton responds Thursday when he reports to work following his first day of practice in nearly two weeks.
“It’s all part of the concussion protocol,” Rivera said.
Newton, who usually talks publicly Wednesdays, was not available after practice.
Wearing a helmet and his red No. 1 practice jersey, Newton threw passes and joked with teammates in the huddle before taking snaps during the first 20 minutes of action that were open to the media. Newton threw the ball around and jogged during the half-speed portion of practice.
Carolina (1-4) is marred in a three-game losing streak.
Carson Palmer is practicing again with the Arizona Cardinals after sitting out a game because of a concussion and will be back at the controls when the team hosts the New York Jets on Monday night.
“Feel great,” the 36-year-old quarterback said after the Wednesday workout. “Good to be back.”
The practice was the first for the Cardinals since their 33-21 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers last Thursday night.
“It’s great,” Coach Bruce Arians said of having Palmer back. “You always want your leader out there and he is the leader.”
Palmer was not limited in practice.
The quarterback said he believed he would have been able to play had the last game not been on a Thursday.
“My wife was definitely freaked out,” he said, “but I was ready to play if we had a Sunday game.”
Kessler wants to play
Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Cody Kessler’s chest and ribs still hurt when he throws, but he’s determined to ignore the pain and play Sunday at Tennessee.
It won’t be up to him.
The former USC quarterback practiced Wednesday and didn’t appear to be bothered by his injuries during the period of practice open to the media. Also, veteran Josh McCown practiced for the first time since breaking his left collarbone in Week 2 and had plenty of zip on his passes.
Afterward, Coach Hue Jackson said it’s too early to pick a starter for the Titans.
Jackson also defended inviting ousted Baylor coach Art Briles to work with his team.
Briles was fired by the school in May amid a sexual assault scandal involving several former football players. He attended Cleveland’s practice Wednesday at the request of Jackson, who also had Briles as a guest during training camp and asked him back.
“He is a tremendous offensive-minded football coach,” Jackson said following Wednesday’s practice. “I’m always looking at different ways of doing things and preparing things. What happened at Baylor is at Baylor.”
New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker, averaging 21.6 yards on nine catches, will have season-ending surgery after being placed on injured reserve Wednesday with a partially torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. “It’s tough news,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. ... Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed is being evaluated for a concussion, an injury that puts his status for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles in doubt.