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Cam Newton cleared to play vs. Chiefs


Grant Halverson

We've waited four months to see what Cam Newton and Kelvin Benjamin can do together, now we might get that chance on Sunday night after the Panthers quarterback was cleared to compete.

Newton has been sidelined following his off-season ankle surgery and was unable to play in Carolina's first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on Friday night. Derek Anderson played well in his stead, and allowed us to see how Benjamin could perform in the NFL -- but there was a twinge of sadness that Newton wasn't the guy to throw the rookie his first touchdown pass.

Head coach Ron Rivera is ready to see his franchise quarterback return to action.

"Cam is on track to do the things we need him to do now,'' coach Ron Rivera said after practicing in a steady rain at Wofford College. "We've mapped out a lot of things. We're now getting to the point where the work load is going to increase and things are going to change and we're going to do things differently now.''

The Chiefs present an interesting test in the second preseason game, boasting a solid 3-4 defense and excellent pass rush which should put Cam through his paces quickly. It's unlikely Newton will see more than a single quarter of play while the Panthers ease him back into his starting role, but that should be enough to know whether his development with Kelvin Benjamin can yield big results in 2014.