(Reuters) - Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was involved in a car accident on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, and taken to the hospital where he was in fair condition with minor back fractures, officials said.
Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his lower back but no other internal injuries, team spokesman Charlie Dayton said, adding that the quarterback will remain in the hospital overnight.
Dayton said he did not believe the injury would require surgery and it was unclear if Newton would be able to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Charlotte on Sunday.
The two-car accident occurred on a bridge over Interstate 277 around 12:30 p.m., police said, adding that the driver of the second car was also taken to the hospital.
Newton’s truck rolled over several times witnesses said, and television footage showed the quarterback on a stretcher being placed in an ambulance. Police had no details on the cause of the accident, which occurred outside Bank of America Stadium.
The transverse processes are tiny bones jutting out sideways from the vertebrae. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered two fractures in his transverse process earlier this year and missed one game.
Newton, 25, was the top overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft out of Auburn University and is a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback. He has started every game for the Panthers since entering the league in the 2011 season.
The Panthers are 4-8-1 this season but are coming off a 41-10 upset victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Newton completed 21 of 33 passes with three touchdowns against the Saints. He also ran for a two-yard score, his touchdown celebration triggering a bench-clearing brawl.
It has been an injury-filled year for Newton. He had ankle surgery in March and fractured his ribs during a preseason game in August against the New England Patriots.
Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Bill Trott, Eric Beech, Sandra Maler and Mohammad Zargham