Cam Newton Concussion Ruling Expected This Week; ‘A Fine Definitely Is Possible’
The NFL is expected to announce this week whether the Carolina Panthers violated the league’s concussion protocol by allowing Cam Newton to re-enter the team’s wild-card loss to the New Orleans Saints.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported a fine is “definitely possible.”
Newton re-entered the game without undergoing full concussion protocol after taking a hit to the head from Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata. The 2015 MVP seemed dazed following the hit and dropped to the ground as he attempted to return to the sidelines.
Derek Anderson finished the series, but Newton was back on the field for the Panthers’ next offensive possession.
Newton and the Panthers said he did not suffer a concussion. Coach Ron Rivera said the team instructed Newton to take a knee as he went to the sideline to give Anderson a chance to warm up.
“There was precautionary concussion protocol things that happened, but it wasn’t my head, it was my eye. My helmet came down low enough over my eyelid, and it got pressed by a player’s stomach, I believe,” Newton told reporters.
“I thought maybe someone stuck their finger in my eye, but I’ve got a visor, so that couldn’t happen.”
Concussion protocol says a player “who stumbles and/or falls to the ground when trying to stand, unrelated to an orthopedic injury, should be sent directly to the locker room to undergo the standard locker room exam.”
Newton was examined in the sideline tent but did not go back to the locker room, which will likely be seen as a violation of the protocol by the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 for a similar violation of concussion protocol during the regular season. Quarterback Russell Wilson took a hit to the head in a Week 10 win over the Arizona Cardinals but was examined in the tent rather than being taken to the locker room.