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NFL, NFLPA to investigate Panthers' concussion evaluation of Cam Newton

09 January, 2018, 00:28 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Cam Newton

It appears that the review will focus on whether Newton fell on his way to the Panthers' sideline after absorbing a fourth-quarter hit or was told by a member of Carolina's medical staff to drop to his knees.

The NFL and NFL Players Association plan to conduct a joint review to determine if the Carolina Panthers followed the correct concussion protocol with quarterback Cam Newton in their 31-26 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. "We are in contact now with the Panthers' medical staff and we will not comment further until those conversations are completed", a statement from the National Football League tweeted by Rapoport read.

He was taken to the sideline medical tent for evaluation for a concussion and cleared after missing only one play. He led a touchdown march that got Carolina within one score, but their next and final possession ended with a turnover on downs.

This is not the first time the Panthers' handling of Newton has come under scrutiny.

According to the policy, if the protocol was not properly followed, the team is subject to discipline.

But that price is a pittance for a multi-billion-dollar franchise, so the question of whether the punishment for clubs found to be guilty of not following the rules could become an offseason topic of debate.

The league and the players union changed its concussion protocol last month after Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage returned to the field after having a concussion that left the quarterback's hands shaking after a hit.


After the game, Newton and Coach Ron Rivera said Newton had been hit in the eye. He also made one of the most important plays late in the fourth quarter when a near-sack resulted in intentional grounding on Newton, helping the Saints prevent the Panthers from coming back. Although Newton had eight carries for 37 yards, he threw the ball 40 times, and the Saints feel better about him throwing than running.

But the inquest into how the Panthers handled what looked like a head injury to Cam Newton is just beginning.

Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said he could not tell whether Newton was displaying any symptoms of a concussion.

"Based on what the young man (Newton) said to me, that is what I believe happened", Rivera said.

"Yeah, you know, Carolina picked him up so the brothers could reunite", Jordan said. "We're going to send him a nice little bottle of Jordan wine".

"We tried to force him to be uncomfortable, we tried to force him to make errors, and I don't think he made many", Jordan said.

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