Panthers QB Newton returns to practice, takes 1st-team reps

FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) watches from the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Newton has been ruled out for Monday nights game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a concussion. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt, File0

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has returned to practice and took reps with the first-team offense after missing Monday night's game against Tampa Bay with a concussion.

Newton, wearing a helmet and a red No. 1 practice jersey, threw passes and joked with teammates in the huddle Wednesday before taking snaps during the first 20 minutes of practice that were open to the media. Newton threw the ball around and jogged during the walk-through portion of practice.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera has not said if he expects the league's reigning MVP to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Carolina (1-4) is marred in a three-game losing streak.

Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury, also was at practice.

AP NFL website: and