NFL, NFLPA to review how Panthers handled hit on QB Newton

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On Sunday, the Carolina Panthers were in the midst of trying to complete a comeback victory over a team that had beaten them twice already during the season, but a monkey wrench was thrown into their plans when Cam Newton took a vicious shot from a Saints defender late in the 4th quarter. If the concussion protocol was not properly followed the team is subject to discipline, including a $150,000 fine.

Now, the National Football League have asked the Panthers to explain their handling of Newton's injury - adding that it has gotten in touch with the team's medical staff.

Head coach Ron Rivera and interim general manager Marty Hurney both said Monday they believe the Panthers acted properly after Newton took a big hit to the head in the fourth quarter of the 31-26 loss to New Orleans.

Newton walked toward the Panthers' sideline and appeared to stumble to the turf as trainers met him a few yards from the bench area.


Newton missed only one offensive play after he was evaluated in the medical tent on the Panthers sideline and cleared to play.

Newton finished the game as the Panthers lost, 31-26, at the Superdome and saw their season end. The league and players' union conducted probes past year after Newton took a hard hit to the head late in the season opener at Denver but did not come out of the game.

"It was precautionary concussion-protocol things", Newton said. Any player showing "gross or sustained vertical instability" following a hit is now required to be evaluated for a concussion in the locker room, according to the NFL's updated concussion protocol. A sideline concussion evaluation is not considered sufficient under those circumstances.

Jordan said the hit that Newton absorbed was significant.


The changes came in conjunction with a decision not to punish the Houston Texans for their handling of a concussion suffered by quarterback Tom Savage. After the Week 3 game, Jordan made some jokes about Newton's fashion choices.

Newton said after the game that he was hit in the eye and that he did not suffer a head injury. We saw him rock back and forth.

"I'm not here to make that type of judgment", Jordan said in the Saints' postgame locker room.

"Carolina picked him, so the brothers could reunite", Jordan said. And I think David Onyemata shut that door for him.


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