Panthers’ coach: Newton’s head is fine, he’ll play vs. 49ers

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton speaks after the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 20-13. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Panthers coach Ron Rivera says Cam Newton’s body is sore but his head is fine, and he fully expects the league’s reigning MVP to play Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Rivera says “he’s resilient and he’s moving around pretty good.”

Newton took at least four helmet-to-helmet hits in Carolina’s 21-20 loss to the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.

The NFL and the Players Association are both looking into whether more should have been done when Newton took a shot to the head in the final minute of the game. Newton was cleared to return and finished the game, getting the Panthers into field goal range, although Graham Gano missed from 50 yards out.

Rivera says he has full confidence that the Panthers medical staff handled the situation properly.

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