CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera abruptly exited his press conference on Thursday after less than 2½ minutes when questions persisted on the status of quarterback Cam Newton.
“I just asked you to ask me questions about somebody else,” Rivera said. “I’m not going to do this anymore. I told you, I won’t know anymore until tomorrow. Thank you.”
As Rivera left the media room, he added, “Golly.”
Newton did not practice for the third straight day after re-aggravating his left foot sprain in Thursday night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that dropped the Panthers to 0-2.
Rivera opened his press conference by saying he wasn’t ready to say whether backup Kyle Allen, who has taken the first-team snaps all week, or Newton would start.
“Nope. Cam was in meetings today,” the two-time NFL Coach of the Year said. “He was inside for treatment. Kyle’s preparing as though he’s going to start. We’ll have more clarity tomorrow as we continue to go forward. Tomorrow we should have a good feel for where he is, and we’ll go from there.”
Of the seven questions for Rivera, five were on Newton’s status, including one on whether the 2015 NFL MVP would make the trip to Arizona on Friday to face the 0-2 Cardinals.
“You’ll have to wait and see,” Rivera said.
When Newton initially was coming off rehab of the foot injury suffered in the third preseason game, Rivera said before the team’s Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Rams that there was “no doubt in my mind” his quarterback would play.
The final question on Thursday was about how he felt about Newton’s chances of playing this week in relation to the confidence he showed then.
Before that, Rivera asked that questions turn to the Cardinals.
“I’m not going to talk about it anymore guys,” he said of Newton’s status. “Let’s talk about Arizona. I haven’t really talked about Arizona, so it would be good to answer those kind of questions.
“I know it’s about Cam, but I don’t know any more until tomorrow, so let’s talk about Arizona. If not, there’s no reason for me to stand here.”
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