• 43°

Panthers QB in car accident, suffers two fractures in lower back

The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered fractures to his lower back in a two-car crash Tuesday and will spend the night in the hospital, a team spokesman said Tuesday.

Newton was in fair condition, had no other internal injuries and would not need surgery, team spokesman Charlie Dayton said during a news conference outside a Charlotte hospital. It was unclear if Newton would be able to practice or play Sunday against the Buccaneers, Dayton said.

“Right now we have thought about Cam’s well-being and we understand there was someone else in the other car who was injured,” Dayton said. “We just hope that they’re all OK.”

He was expected to be released from the hospital on Wednesday after undergoing tests.

Television footage showed Newton on a stretcher being placed in an ambulance after the crash. Photos from The Charlotte Observer showed the 25-year-old smiling as an officer attended to him on the ground.

A black pickup truck that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman Robert Tufano said Newton was driving was overturned on the roadway with debris scattered all over the street. The roof was caved in and a tow truck later was hauling it away. Another car that appeared to be involved in the crash had front end damage.

Police were investigating how the crash happened on a bridge that crosses busy I-277 in the shadow of Bank of America Stadium, where the Panthers play. Dayton said he believes Newton was on his way to the stadium but wasn’t certain.

The two-time Pro Bowler has 2,800 yards passing this season with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also has rushed for 425 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 4-8-1 record.

An Atlanta native, Newton led the Auburn Tigers to a national championship in 2010.

Dayton said Newton had two transverse process fractures in his lower back, which is the same description of an injury that Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has and has been playing through it.

Dayton said Panthers owner Jerry Richardson stopped to visit Newton, but was unable to see the quarterback because he was undergoing tests. Richardson left to attend the league meetings in Dallas.

As word of the accident spread online, NFL players started sending good wishes on social media. “Praying for @CameronNewton,” Oakland Raiders defensive end Justin Tuck tweeted.

Newton threw three touchdown passes in Carolina’s 41-10 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, his best game in nearly a month-and-a-half. He also broke a string of eight straight games with an interception.

The win put the Panthers back in the playoff hunt, one-half game behind the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints (both 5-8).

Newton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft and was the franchise’s starter right away. He has only missed one game this season, the opener at Tampa Bay. Newton has one year left on his rookie contract after the Panthers picked up a $15 million option for 2015.

The Panthers have repeatedly said Newton is a guy they view as their franchise quarterback moving forward.

But it has been a rough year for Newton.

After the Panthers fell at home to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs in January, Newton had ankle surgery in March that sidelined him for all but one of the team’s spring practices.

He returned for the start of the training camp, but then suffered another setback when he fractured his ribs during a preseason game against the New England Patriots.

The injuries forced Newton to miss Carolina’s season opener.

He has said he’s not been close to 100 percent all season.

Newton is 23-31-1 as an NFL starter in the regular season and 0-1 in the playoffs.

Derek Anderson is the team’s backup quarterback and would be first in line to replace Newton if he is unable to play Sunday against Tampa Bay (2-10). Anderson started and led Carolina to a season-opening victory against the Bucs.

Comments

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18