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Cam Newton appears headed for starting gig

Carolina Panthers quarterback Newton stretches during warmups before his team's pre-season NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton stretches during warmups before his team’s pre-season NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami, August 19, 2011.REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

REUTERS

Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton may have left the door open for Jimmy Clausen in Carolina’s second preseason game, but Clausen didn’t take advantage.

Now it looks like Newton will continue starting at quarterback for the Panthers for the foreseeable future.

Coach Ron Rivera announced Sunday that Newton will start Thursday night against the Bengals and play about three quarters. Translation: We’re getting him ready for the season, barring a major faceplant.

Even if they won’t admit it.

“We are still in the evaluation process after having gone through a game where we did some good things, but not enough good things,” Rivera said via the Gaston Gazette.

It makes sense for Rivera to keep things close to the vest for now, but actions speak louder. Jimmy Clausen has improved some since he was a rookie, but not enough to compel the Panthers to sit the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.