Newton, 30, has yet to make a full recovery after aggravating a mid-foot sprain he suffered during the preseason. Kyle Allen will start at quarterback in his absence.
"He worked through a lot of the soreness this week, felt pretty good at the end of the week," Rivera told reporters Friday. "The one thing we don't want to do is have another setback. So we want to make sure he is ready to roll and his foot can handle it."
The former MVP aggravated the foot injury in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was still sporting a walking boot during practice this week.
Allen played in two games last season, starting one. The 23-year-old threw two touchdown passes in a Week 17 win over the New Orleans Saints.