- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Joe Webb knew coming into training camp he’d need a break or two to make the Carolina Panthers roster.

He got one - although not exactly the one he’d hoped for.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday he plans to keep Webb as the team’s No. 3 quarterback after starter Cam Newton suffered a hairline fracture to his ribs Friday night during a preseason against New England.

The Panthers only kept two QBs on the roster last year - Newton and veteran Derek Anderson.

“I would never want to wish for somebody to get hurt just for my benefit (so) it was an unfortunate situation,” Webb said. “It’s just a blessing for me to come in and show my talents to the coaching staff. I wish Cam all of the best and to get well soon. In the meantime I’m going to do my best to fill the void.”

Rivera said the Panthers were thinking about keeping Webb even before Newton’s injury.

Newton’s injury sealed his spot.

Rivera admitted it will be tough sacrificing a roster spot for an extra quarterback, but the move comes out of necessity.

Newton has not practiced this week, but Rivera reiterated he’s “pretty confident” the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback will play in the Sept. 7 regular season opener against Tampa Bay.

“I saw him throw a couple of balls. I saw him catch a couple of balls. I saw him bend over and pick up (a couple of balls), so I imagine (the pain) is lessening,” Rivera said of Newton, who has never missed a regular season start in three seasons. “This is exactly what the doctor told us - it is just a matter of time. Get the stiffness out, the soreness out, and he’ll be all right.”

Newton did not address the media on Tuesday.

Rivera said Newton will be revaluated on Saturday.

In the meantime, Anderson is expected to start Thursday night against Pittsburgh in the preseason finale, providing all goes well with the birth of his child. His wife was set to be induced into labor Tuesday night.

With the starters only playing about a quarter, Webb should see plenty of playing time.

He knows that once Newton’s ribs heal the Panthers could revert back to keeping just two quarterbacks, which means he’d be a free agent again.

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