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NFL notebook: QB Newton says 'no doubt' he'll be ready for opener

| Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, 8:27 p.m.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has no doubt he will play in the season opener Sept. 7 at Tampa Bay.

Newton, who cracked his ribs last week against New England, left little question about his Week 1 status while talking with reporters for the first time since he was injured.

“There's no doubt in my mind,” Newton said. “I'm just going to worry about things that I can control. I'm going to continue to come in and get as much treatment as possible so my body will be 100 percent.”

The Panthers play their final exhibition Thursday night at the Steelers. Newton will make the trip with the team so he can continue working with head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion.

Newton indicated he sustained hairline fractures in multiple ribs when he was kneed in the lower back by Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins at the end of a 7-yard scramble during the second quarter. After leaving for one play, Newton returned to the game and played into the third quarter.

But an MRI on Sunday morning revealed the fracture.

Newton did not slide on the scramble, but rolled into Collins, whose knee struck Newton in a crease in his flak jacket.

Newton, who underwent offseason surgery on his left ankle, was noncommittal when asked whether he planned to slide more often when he takes off running from the pocket.

“I guess we will all just have to stay tuned and see,” Newton said.

ESPN report irks Fisher

Rams coach Jeff Fisher remains angry over an ESPN report that dealt in part with the “showering habits” of defensive end Michael Sam by ESPN reporter Josina Anderson.

“I'm extremely disappointed in her piece,” Fisher told the Post-Dispatch before the team boarded buses for Lambert Airport and the trip to Miami for Thursday's preseason finale. “I think it's unethical. I think it's very, very unprofessional. Not only the piece itself, the content. The manner in which she did it.”

Fisher said he was made aware of the report Tuesday, has seen the report, and also has seen ESPN's subsequent apology. Fisher did say he appreciated the apology.

During the report, Anderson said one Rams player told her that Sam was “respecting our space” when it came to showering, and may be waiting to take a shower so as not to make teammates feel uncomfortable.

Sam, in a tight battle with undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks for a final roster spot, is trying to become the first openly gay player to make an NFL roster.

Veteran defensive end Chris Long responded to Anderson's report Tuesday on his Twitter account with a tweet that was blunt as could be: “Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it.”

Titans' Casey gets deal

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey signed a four-year, $36 million contract extension with the Tennessee Titans. Casey's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said $20.5 million is guaranteed.

A third-round draft pick in 2011, Casey is coming off a career year with 10.5 sacks, 90 tackles and 10 quarterback pressures. His sacks were the second-highest total in franchise history for a defensive tackle behind only Ray Childress' 13 sacks in 1992.

Rookie QB Carr to start

Raiders fans will get a close look at their past and future at quarterback in Thursday night's exhibition finale against the Seahawks.

Rookie Derek Carr will start and get ample playing time in place of injured Matt Schaub for the Raiders, while last season's opening game starter in Oakland, former Jeannette quarterback Terrelle Pryor, should get significant playing time as he fights for a roster spot with the Seahawks.

Chiefs sign McGlynn

The Chiefs signed veteran guard Mike McGlynn to help stabilize their shaky offensive line while waiving reserve offensive lineman Ben Gottschalk.

McGlynn, a former Pitt lineman who was released by Washington on Tuesday, played for Chiefs coach Andy Reid with the Eagles from 2008-10. He spent one year with the Bengals and the past two seasons with the Colts.

The former fourth-round draft pick has started 48 of the 57 games he has played in the NFL.

Ex-Steeler Harrison visiting Cardinals

Veteran outside linebacker and former Steeler James Harrison was scheduled to visit the Cardinals, according to multiple reports.

Harrison, 36, had two sacks in 10 games with the Bengals last season.

The Cards, depleted by injuries and suspensions, are looking to find replacements on defense. On Wednesday, they signed defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, two days after he was cut by the Patriots.

Around the league

The Ravens signed cornerback Derek Cox, who was released by the Vikings this week, to bolster their banged-up secondary. ... Police in North Carolina briefly detained and questioned a man who flew a drone with a camera mounted on it over a stadium during an NFL preseason game.

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