Panthers' Newton suffers back fractures in crash

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Panthers QB Newton Injured In Car Accident


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 (at)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.

The Observer also released a YouTube video of paramedics tending to the 25-year-old:




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Panthers' Newton suffers back fractures in crash
A Charlotte firefighter tends to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton following a crash in uptown Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
This image made from video and provided by WSOC-TV channel 9 in Charlotte, shows the vehicle Carolina Panthers Cam Newton was driving in Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been taken to a hospital after being involved in an auto accident in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer reports Newton was driving the truck. (AP Photo/WSOC-TV channel 9) CHARLOTTE MEDIA OUT
This image made from video and provided by WSOC-TV channel 9 in Charlotte, shows the vehicle Carolina Panthers Cam Newton was driving in Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been taken to a hospital after being involved in an auto accident in Charlotte.The Charlotte Observer reported that Newton was driving the truck. (AP Photo/WSOC-TV channel 9) CHARLOTTE MEDIA OUT
This image made from video and provided by WSOC-TV channel 9 in Charlotte, shows the vehicle, top left between a fire truck and tow truck, that Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton was driving in Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been taken to a hospital after being involved in an auto accident in Charlotte. The Charlotte Observer reports Newton was driving the truck. (AP Photo/WSOC-TV channel 9) CHARLOTTE MEDIA OUT
This image made from video and released by WSOC-TV channel 9 in Charlotte, shows the vehicle Carolina Panthers Cam Newton was driving in Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been taken to a hospital after being involved in an auto accident in Charlotte. A truck was overturned on the roadway with debris scattered all over the street. The Charlotte Observer reports Newton was driving the truck. (AP Photo/WSOC-TV channel 9)CHARLOTTE MEDIA OUT
This image made from video and provided by WSOC-TV channel 9 in Charlotte, shows the vehicle Carolina Panthers Cam Newton was driving in Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been taken to a hospital after being involved in an auto accident in Charlotte. A truck was overturned on the roadway with debris scattered all over the street. The Charlotte Observer reports Newton was driving the truck. (AP Photo/WSOC-TV channel 9) CHARLOTTE MEDIA OUT
This image made from video and released by WSOC-TV channel 9 in Charlotte, shows the vehicle Carolina Panthers Cam Newton was driving in Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been taken to a hospital after being involved in an auto accident in Charlotte. A truck was overturned on the roadway with debris scattered all over the street. The Charlotte Observer reports Newton was driving the truck. (AP Photo/WSOC-TV channel 9)
This image made from video and released by WSOC-TV channel 9 in Charlotte, N.C., shows the vehicle Carolina Panthers Cam Newton was driving in Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been taken to a hospital after being involved in an auto accident in Charlotte. A truck was overturned on the roadway with debris scattered all over the street. The Charlotte Observer reports Newton was driving the truck. (AP Photo/WSOC-TV channel 9)
A towing-operator works to upright the damaged truck driven by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after the quarterback was involved in an accident, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Newton was taken to the hospital. It's unclear how badly the 25-year-old he was injured. (AP Photo/Skip Foreman)
Emergency personnel tend to a damaged truck driven by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after the quarterback was involved in an accident, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Newton was taken to the hospital. It's unclear how badly the 25-year-old he was injured. (AP Photo/Skip Foreman)
The damaged truck driven by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton sits near Bank of America Stadium after the quarterback was involved in an accident, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, in Charlotte, N.C. Newton was taken to the hospital. It's unclear how badly the 25-year-old he was injured. (AP Photo/Skip Foreman)
Police and fire officials examine Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's damaged truck following a crash in uptown Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
A Charlotte firefighter tends to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton following a crash in uptown Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 09: A pickup truck belonging to quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, that was involved in a roll over accident, is towed away from in front of Bank of America Stadium on December 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Newton was transported from the scene in an ambulance after he was invovled in a car accident. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Panthers coach Ron Rivera says quarterback Derek Anderson will start Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in place of Cam Newton, who is recovering from an automobile accident that left him with two fractures in his lower back. (Dec. 10)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 09: A police officer looks over the scene after a pickup truck belonging to quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was involved in a roll over accident in front of Bank of America Stadium on December 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Newton was transported from the scene in an ambulance after he was invovled in a car accident. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 7, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner, Getty Images

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers wears a pair of military-themed beats headphones as he warms up before a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium on November 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Atlanta won 19-17. 

Photo Credit: Grant Halverson, Getty Images

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton gives high-fives to fans after an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. The Panthers won 24-7.

Photo Credit: Bob Leverone, AP Photo

Two vehicles are damaged after a collision involving Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in uptown Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
Cam Newton is conscious and smiling after crash in uptown Charlotte. http://t.co/tx6R9qisSh
#Panthers' Cam Newton taken to hospital after crash http://t.co/DTnn4nlbPL #10News http://t.co/S2pO9BGkEi
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CMPD spokesman Rob Tufano said Cam Newton was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. http://t.co/d3kPSIxPVI
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BREAKING: Cam Newton was involved in a Huge car accident near the stadium. He's now on his way to the hospital. http://t.co/xZocuxXVeR
Cam Newton injured in Tuesday morning car crash. http://t.co/sZbjn9r91e http://t.co/98yPHCvavQ
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NEW: Aerial picture of crash scene involving @Panthers QB Cam Newton. http://t.co/cY4X2QM2b5 http://t.co/rdkoK3q27W
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