NFL to consider Cam Newton knee injury during concussion protocol investigation

Florence Fletcher
January 13, 2018

As the National Football League and players union continues their probe of the Carolina Panthers' handling of Cam Newton last weekend, they have another factor to consider - a knee injury to the Panthers' quarterback. The NFL's enhanced concussion protocol requires players demonstrating vertical instability after a hit to the head to be taken to the locker room to be evaluated.

And if that wasn't bad enough, now the Panthers are claiming that a knee injury was also a reason Newton fell to the ground, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

With 8:26 left in the 31-26 loss to New Orleans, Newton went down after a hit by Saints backup defensive tackle David Onyemata. They didn't want to have him heading into the locker room during the final minutes of the fourth quarter, choosing instead to eschew league policy while simultaneously failing to value the long-term health of their franchise quarterback. "And it was really getting poked in the eye".

The Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 in December for failing to properly utilize the concussion protocol for quarterback Russell Wilson during the team's Week 10 game against the Arizona Cardinals. But when he was sitting on the ground, they were trying to wipe whatever when he got popped.

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"I know it was precautionary things for a concussion", Newton said last week, "but it wasn't a hit to the head it was my eye".

Newton returned on the next series and threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Christian McCaffrey on the third play of the possession.

So, Newton apparently fell to the ground because he was told to, and because he was struggling to stay balanced due to a knee injury.

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