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Cam Newton’s finally playing, and he hit Kelvin Benjamin for a TD on his first series

The 9-yard score gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead in Jacksonville.

Cam Newton hasn’t played a minute of preseason football this year until tonight. He didn’t look rusty on his first series, which he capped off with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin.

Carolina got the run game going early, and Jonathan Stewart had 39 rushing yards on that series. His effort helped set up Newton’s pass to Benjamin.

Benjamin made the most of it, flipping into the end zone and mostly sticking his landing.

As usual, Newton made sure to get the touchdown ball to a kid in the stands. Well done.

Ron Rivera must have been happy enough with what he saw from Newton, because it was his only series. Derek Anderson is already in the game for the Panthers.

Newton’s coming off of shoulder surgery, and he hasn’t been throwing much in training camp. He also sat out the first two preseason games entirely. Week 3 is typically more of a dress rehearsal for starters, and Newton looks like he’s ready to go.