In the third week of the preseason, the Carolina Panthers will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals. Who'll be starting at quarterback for that game isn't just anyone's guess -- it's everyone's guess.
That's because, according to head coach Ron Rivera, the starter for that game will be the Panthers starter for the regular season.
Some folks are saying it should/will be Cam Newton. Others believe it should/will be Jimmy Clausen. There's a tiny Ron Paul-like contingent screaming for Derek Anderson. (OK, I haven't heard them, but surely they're out there.)
For now, Rivera is staying mum on what he's thinking. But give him credit, because he really does seem to have the "only speak in vagaries" thing that was so popular for head coaches prior to Rex Ryan bursting on the scene.
"It's all the same. We're going to continue to do that until we make that decision," Rivera said, per Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
See? What does that even mean? Nothing is what.
Speaking of meaning nothing, don't read too much into Newton likely starting the second week of the preseason against the Dolphins. I mentioned this yesterday when I hopped on the horn with our friend Bob Haynie of 105.7 the Fan, but you can go ahead and mark Newton to take the field with the first team during the upcoming trip to South Beach.
Rivera's said all along that his intention is to divide the "practice reps" available on a strict 50/50 split between Newton and Clausen; that Clausen started and then Newton saw the majority of playing time against the Giants should be indicative of exactly what will happen in the next game, only in reverse.
Our Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed confirms that Newton is indeed running with the first-teamers in practice, which is a logical lead-in to the fact that he'll start for the Panthers on Friday.
As for who'll take the first offensive snap against the Bengals, well, that's still up in the air.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.