With Cam Newton sidelined for Monday night's game because of a concussion, multiple people in his inner circle have counseled the Carolina Panthers quarterback to play more carefully, sources told ESPN.
Newton suffered the concussion in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's 48-33 loss at Atlanta when linebacker Deion Jones delivered a legal helmet-to-helmet hit as the reigning NFL MVP approached the goal line on a two-point conversion run.
He took a similar shot going into the end zone against the Saints last season. This season, he has been in harm's way often. Two Denver Broncos players received fines for hits to Newton's head in Week 1.
Those close to Newton have urged him to get down, out of bounds or into the end zone quicker than he did last week, when he allowed the Falcons a free shot at him, and he has acknowledged the message and said he will do a better job of protecting himself when he can, sources said.
Quarterback Derek Anderson will make his third start for Carolina (1-3) since joining the team in 2011. He was 2-0 in his other two starts, both against the Buccaneers (1-3) in 2014 when Newton was injured.
When asked how Newton is handling being sidelined, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, "he's antsy.''
ESPN's David Newton contributed to this report.