Just like Week 1, Tampa Bay will be facing a Carolina Panthers team starting its backup quarterback.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera confirmed during Wednesday’s conference call to the Tampa Bay media that Derek Anderson will be under center in place of Cam Newton.
“Yeah, it’s quite obvious with Cam’s situation right now,” Rivera said. “So Derek Anderson will be the starter.”
That “situation” is Newton’s recovery from a pair of lower-back fractures the quarterback suffered after being involved in a car crash outside of the Panthers’ facilities yesterday afternoon.
“It was literally about a block away from our facility so we had people headed to the site when it happened right away and it was most certainly an eye-opener,” Rivera said of the accident. “It does put a lot of things in perspective about the importance of life and thank goodness no one was hurt seriously, him or the driver of the other vehicle.”
Newton’s status was up in the air leading into the Week 1 season opener at Tampa Bay and Rivera said he hopes Anderson can benefit from a full week with the first team.
“The nice thing about it is he will work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday getting all the reps and get himself prepared and ready to go,” Rivera said. “He’s a veteran guy who’s done a nice job throughout his career. He’s started a lot of games in this league and he’s a savvy guy and we’ll try to do what he does best.”
Anderson played well in his lone start of the season against Tampa Bay, leading the Panthers to a 20-14 victory. The veteran started his 10th professional season by going 24 of 34 passing for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Bucs defenders got to Anderson for just one sack, a 9-yard loss recorded by defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.