CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spent the night in a Charlotte area hospital after suffering fractures to his lower back in a two-car crash near the team's stadium yesterday.

Spokesman Charlie Dayton said yesterday that Newton was in fair condition, had no other internal injuries and would not need surgery. The injury is similar to what Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has been playing through, but Dayton said it was unclear if Newton would be able to practice or play Sunday against the Buccaneers.

Television footage shows Newton on a stretcher being placed in an ambulance, while photographs by the Charlotte Observer show him smiling as he was being assisted by police.


Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman says quarterback Cam Newton remains hospitalized following an automobile accident and is still expected to be released today. Newton suffered two fractures in his lower back when his truck crashed and overturned in a two-car accident Tuesday. Gettleman says he still has no details on what happened or when Newton will return to action.

UNDATED (AP) — Rookie Johnny Manziel (man-ZEHL') will make the first start of his NFL career when the Browns take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Cleveland on Sunday.

The 22nd player taken in last year's NFL draft gets the nod over Brian Hoyer, who has led the Browns to a 7-6 record but has played poorly the last five games. Manziel has been on the field for just 18 plays this season, including a relief role in which he completed 5 of 8 passes and scored on a 10-yard touchdown run against Buffalo.

Following the announcement, Bengals' coach Marvin Lewis apologized for a second time for calling Manziel a "midget." He says the comment was insensitive and offensive to "people of short stature." Lewis called the 6-foot quarterback "a midget" during a radio show on Monday night and later issued an apology.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The son of Bart Starr says the former Green Bay Packers quarterback is making slow, but steady progress after recently suffering two strokes, a heart attack and seizures. Speaking at a fundraising event near Green Bay, Bart Starr Jr. told the crowd about a text he had received that said his dad had taken his first steps in about three months. Starr Jr. said his father wants to return to Green Bay when Brett Favre's jersey is retired.