Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

NFL Looking Into Panthers' Handling Of Cam's Protocol

NFL Looking Into Panthers' Handling Of Cam's Protocol

The NFL and the players union have launched an official review to determine whether the Carolina Panthers followed the concussion protocol properly with quarterback Cam Newton during Sunday's NFC wild-card game vs. the Saints.

If the concussion protocol was not properly followed the team is subject to discipline, including a $150,000 fine.

Newton left for one play after Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata's chest struck Newton's head with about nine minutes left. Newton took a knee as he walked toward the sideline and pointed toward his right eye. Before getting there, he dropped to his knees on the turf.

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera and Newton said after the game that the issue was that the player had been hit in the eye.

Newton threw a touchdown pass on the next drive when he returned to the game, but it was not enough as Carolina fell to the Saints 31-26. "It was my eye", Newton told reporters.

The organisation stipulates that any player suspected of having concussion must be evaluated in the dressing room.

No violations were found in an investigation of the Houston Texans' decision to clear quarterback Tom Savage despite visible concussion-like symptoms on the field. One of those modifications came into play Sunday with Newton: The change requires any player who falls or stumbles after suffering a potential head injury to be taken to the locker room for a concussion evaluation.

But in revisions to its concussion policy announced December 29, the National Football League said it would "require a locker room concussion evaluation for all players demonstrating gross or sustained vertical instability (e.g., stumbling or falling to the ground when trying to stand)". "It was my eye", Newton told reporters.

But Newton returned to the game after the tent visit, with the Panthers tweeting: 'Cam Newton has been evaluated for a concussion and cleared'.

Rivera took the same stance on the injury Monday morning and said he didn't think anything had changed with the quarterback's condition, "but, again, I'm not the doctor".

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