After Panthers quarterback Cam Newton remained in Thursday night’s game against the Broncos despite taking several shots to the head, the NFL said on Friday that the medical staff on hand, including the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant, found “no indications of a concussion that would require further evaluation” during the game.
A Panthers official added, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, that Newton passed concussion tests in the locker room, on the team bus, on the team plane and early Friday morning. Coach Ron Rivera still faced questions about the handling of Newton when he met with the media on Friday and deferred to the medical personnel when it came to Newton remaining in the game.
“I’m not going to question the doctors. . . . They’re the trained professionals,” Rivera said.
Rivera did say that he thought there should have been more flags thrown for hits on the quarterback and Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that the league believes Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall should have been penalized for one hit to Newton. Marshall will likely be fined, something that Rivera believes could help in the future and suggested that such hits be reviewable.
Rivera also referenced a moment from last season when Newton was told he wasn’t “old enough” to get borderline roughing calls. Rivera said Friday that he’d like to see Newton get some “veteran favoritism” in the future and, one way or another, the Panthers are going to have to find ways to keep their best player from taking repeated blows to the head.