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CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The concerns are mounting for the Carolina Panthers with the regular season opener less than two weeks away.

Quarterback Cam Newton is still out of practice after suffering a hairline fracture in his ribs.

Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, last year's AP defensive player of the year, is likely start the season with a cast on his sprained right thumb.

And starting defensive ends Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson remain sidelined with shoulder and hamstring injuries, respectively.

The Panthers are also trying to figure out what went wrong in a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Friday night.

But Panthers coach Ron Rivera doesn't seem too concerned, saying "That's the nature of the game.

This could happen in the regular season and we have to adapt. It's basically the next man up."

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