NFL, NFLPA Reviewing Panthers' Concussion Protocol For Cam Newton

Ruben Ruiz
January 14, 2018

The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Monday they plan to conduct a joint review to determine if the Panthers followed the correct concussion protocol after Newton took a hard shot from Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata midway through the fourth quarter.

After an incompletion in the end zone on third down, Vonn Bell sacked Newton on a safety blitz, ensuring the Saints (12-5) swept all three meetings with Carolina (11-6) this season, in addition to winning their first play-off game in four seasons.

The Panthers QB struggled to get to his feet before collapsing as he made his way towards the sidelines to get checked out by team doctors.

Once Newton dropped to his knee, he had to be taken to the locker room, according to a new provision in the concussion protocol. The Panthers essentially had dared Brees, the quarterback who owns five of the nine 5,000-yard passing seasons in National Football League history, to beat them, employing a defensive game plan in which the top priority was to slow Pro Bowlers Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he is very confident that the protocol was followed correctly.

The effectiveness of the NFL's concussion protocol is being questioned following Cam Newton's scary moment at the weekend. Rivera said during his postgame news conference that Newton was told to sit down near the sideline to give Anderson an opportunity to warm up before going into the game.

'My helmet had came down low enough over my eyelid and it got pressed by the player's stomach I believe. "I thought that maybe somebody had stuck a finger in my eye".

The Panthers fell into a sizable hole heading to half after both teams scored three times but Carolina kicked three field goals while New Orleans scored three touchdowns.

Brees connected with Ted Ginn on an 80-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring. He was also key in helping force an intentional grounding on the final drive. A defensive-holding penalty moved Carolina to the New Orleans 21-yard line with 46 seconds to play.

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Now, he said he's just preparing for that next game.

"I've just got to be better", he said after the 31-26 loss.

"Find your matchups and let's go make some plays and that's what we were able to do".

Carolina has serious issues at the receiver position which could spell trouble if this one develops into a shootout with not much more than stud tight end Greg Olson and still developing Devin Funchess.

It was the Saints' first playoff victory since 2013 and their first home playoff win since 2011.

"I think we've shown, offensively, that we have a lot of ways to be effective, a lot of weapons to spread the ball around. So I want them always to feel welcome, that they were a big part of what all of us are now standing on".

The most glaring piece missing from the equation is a top-flight wide receiver who can take the pressure off Newton so he doesn't feel he has to run; this season, he had a career-high 754 rushing yards.

The Panthers nearly made enough plays despite falling behind 31-19 with 5:08 left.

Cleared to return for the next series, Newton completed his next five passes after the injury.

Other reports by GizPress

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