SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is eager to test his surgically repaired left ankle tonight against the Bills. He just was not sure Thursday if he would get the chance.
Newton said he planned to follow the advice of team trainers and coaches. He threw passes on the side during practice but did not participate in team drills.
"Do I want to play? I do," Newton said. "But I'm sticking to the program and what Coach is asking me to do and (trainer) Ryan Vermillion is asking me to do."
Coach Ron Rivera said he hadn't decided on Newton's status, adding if he does play, it would be for only a series or two and might consist primarily of handoffs.
"We want to make sure we do it right," Rivera said. "We want to make sure he's ready to roll (out) and he can protect himself."
Rodgers backs Favre: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he told the front office it was time to smooth things over with former quarterback Brett Favre. The Packers and Favre have had a strained relationship since his trade to the Jets in 2008, but his No. 4 will be retired and he will enter the team's Hall of Fame next year. "I think it's important to bring him back into the fold," Rodgers said. "He's one of the greatest Packers of all time and one of the greatest NFL players of all time. It's good to get him back here and hopefully get him here (this) fall as well."
Bills: Ex-quarterback Jim Kelly has joined one of eight groups seeking to buy the team, the Buffalo News reported. The newspaper didn't specify the group but previously reported the Hall of Famer talked to Jeffery Gundlach, a bond investor. A winning bid is expected to be announced by the end of September.
Cardinals: Former Florida State linebacker Ernie Sims was released. He signed in June after two seasons with the Cowboys.
Texans: Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall draft pick in May who missed three days of practice this week with an undisclosed injury, said he will start Saturday against the Cardinals. Coach Bill O'Brien said he would wait until game time to decide. Also, owner Bob McNair said he received a clean bill of health after being treated for two forms of cancer for 10 months.
Redskins 23, Patriots 6: Robert Griffin III went 2-of-4 for 9 yards in his only series for host Washington. Quarterback Tom Brady and most of New England's other starters sat. Ryan Mallett, the subject of trade rumors, started and went 5-of-12 for 55 yards.
Ravens 23, 49ers 3: Blaine Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in 2011 who is battling ex-Buc Josh Johnson for a backup spot, went 4-of-14 for 29 yards for visiting San Francisco. Johnson went 6-of-8 for 63 yards.
Jets 13, Colts 10: Geno Smith went 4-of-6 for 33 yards in two series for host New York. His competition to start, Michael Vick, went 3-of-6 for 17 yards, along with 19 yards on three carries.