I'm reminded of a scene from the movie Stepbrothers were they are asking for permission to build bunk beds in their bed room but are unable to comprehend the answer.
What does that answer mean Ron? Will he play or not? If not will he play the following week? if no why are you dragging this out and torturing us?
It sounds like the doctors have already cleared Newton to play (assuming he can handle the pain) Rivera seems to be leaving it up to Cam and how he performs in practice this week to make his decision:
Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says QB Cam Newton will not be rushed on to field - ESPN
"The biggest factor will be whether or not they tell me he can protect himself,'' Rivera said. "I don't want to put a guy out there if he can't protect himself. By that, [I mean] being able to run out of the way, scramble out of the way to stay alive, keep the play alive by being able to get out of the way.''
Newton takes a pounding like no other QB in the league due to his high number of carries for a QB and the fact his offensive line is average on it's best days. But it does sound like the doctors have indicated there is a very low risk for adding to the injury provided Newton can play with the pain. That is where Rivera's comment comes into play about 'protecting himself'.
He doesn't want Newton to be limited in his movement due to the injury. The level of pain he is in will affect that so that is where we are at. How much can Newton endure? He has certainly endured his share of hits and pain this season. Newton has already played through a couple injuries this season, starting with his ankle at the beginning of the season, to his ribs and now his spine. I imagine there have been a few more we didn't know about.
Stay tuned as we will know more as practice unfolds this week.