Panthers Notebook

Panthers Notebook: Newton's Thanksgiving diet a little fishy

jjones@charlotteobserver.comNovember 27, 2013 

Cam Newton’s Thanksgiving dinner plate won’t have the usual items on it.

Newton has been a pescatarian since March, and he said this week he has no plans to go back to eating red meat for the holiday.

“I’m going eight months strong only eating fish, so it’s going to be kind of weird not eating the ham, turkey, chicken or what have you,” Newton said Monday night at his foundation’s Thanksgiving Jam at The Fillmore. “It’s kind of challenging to my parents, my mother, my grandmother to think outside the box and try to incorporate fish.”

Newton said he has to stick to the diet because it’s been good luck. The Carolina Panthers (8-3) are in the midst of the longest winning streak Newton has been a part of in his NFL career.

In the offseason he tried to challenge himself by disciplining himself outside the practice facility.

Some months he wouldn’t eat bread. Other months he would drink only water. When he tried fish, it stuck.

“It’s been challenging at times especially being around the locker room where you get guys eating hot wings, nachos, hot dogs, hamburgers all the time,” Newton said.

When asked if he had any good seafood last weekend during the Panthers’ visit to Miami, Newton said he “had some great dolphin.”

Practice bubble: For the first time this season, the Panthers had to go to the Charlotte Convention Center ballroom to hold practice due to unfavorable weather conditions.

But Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he doesn’t long for the days of an indoor practice facility in Carolina.

“It really wouldn’t make sense either because we may lose one or two days outside,” said Rivera, who added the practice fields were too water-logged to practice on after Tuesday’s rain. “The last couple years it’s really only been two or three times. Would you like to have one? Absolutely. Also you got to think about what makes sense.”

The long-term plans for the Bank of America Stadium renovation call for an indoor facility that team president Danny Morrison said would be used about 10 percent of the time during the season. That would be part of a stadium renovation that looks to be upwards of $200 million.

Davis honored: On Tuuesday, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for the month of November.

Davis racked up 35 tackles, including 17 in a Monday Night Football win against the Patriots, one sack, one interception, a forced fumbles and two passes defensed in November as the Panthers went undefeated.

“You just look at this guy’s almanac and what he’s came from. He’s been an inspiration not only on the field but off the field,” Newton said of Davis, referring to his three ACL surgeries. “He’s showing that anything is possible.

Davis was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after a two-sack performance against Minnesota in Week 6.

Davis is the first Panther to be named NFC Player of the Month since DeAngelo Williams won the offensive honors in December 2008.

Johnson update: Though Rivera expected defensive end Charles Johnson to make his return to practice Wednesday, he wasn’t necessarily disappointed Johnson wasn’t there.

Johnson suffered an MCL sprain in the win against the Patriots two weeks ago and hasn’t practiced since. Rivera was optimistic he’d return Wednesday but said it didn’t make sense to bring him out when the team had to practice indoors.

“Going inside, there was no reason to put him on that carpet,” Rivera said. “We just wanted to be smart. Today was more about getting the mental reps down. I’d much rather do that than going out on the field.”

Rivera said of those injured, he was most concerned about Johnson and right guard Chris Scott, who hasn’t played since injuring his knee against Atlanta in Week 9.

Other injuries: The Panthers’ running back trio did not participate in practice as each one is battling different injuries.

Mike Tolbert said he hurt his hamstring on his fourth-quarter 15-yard run to the Miami 6-yard line on Sunday. He indicated he had other injuries, and Rivera said he had a bruised knee. Tolbert said he probably wouldn’t practice this week.

“I feel all right. Hopeful but you know how they are, they’re more long-run than immediate, so we’ll see,” he said.

“The way it feels, if we had a game tomorrow, no (I wouldn’t play). But Sunday’s a different story.”

DeAngelo Williams had a quad contusion and Jonathan Stewart rested his ankle.

Jordan Gross took a veteran’s day off while linebacker Chase Blackburn (foot) and tight end Ben Hartsock (knee) were limited.

Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9

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