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Newton Setback Another Example Of 'Tough Year,' Rivera Says

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera made it official Wednesday that backup quarterback Derek Anderson is starting Sunday.

Of course, the announcement came as no surprise with Newton suffering two fractures in his lower back Tuesday in an uptown wreck.

Coach Ron Rivera says it just another thing to add to the list of what’s gone wrong for the Panthers this year – problems that go beyond the team’s losing record, such as the domestic violence charges and deactivation of star defensive end Greg Hardy.

“This has been a different year, a tough year," Rivera said. "A lot of things came up that we've never known how to deal with, and now we know how to deal with. It's brought to light some social issues that we not just as a football team or organization, but as a society need to deal with. That’s what this year’s all about.”

Rivera and players were more focused on the bigger picture of Newton’s health than him not being available for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay. Many players noted the accident could have been much worse. Newton’s truck flipped over when a car struck the side of his vehicle as he was heading to Bank of America Stadium. A police report says neither driver was speeding.