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Rivera on Newton staying in game: I’m not going to question doctors

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 28: Head Coach Ron Rivera greets Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on December 28, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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56 Responses to “Rivera on Newton staying in game: I’m not going to question doctors”
  1. snowdood163 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:08 PM

    Stop turning your QB into a full back Ron.

  2. Chris says: Sep 9, 2016 2:09 PM

    An NFL coach asking for calls to be administered differently, depending on who is involved in the play. Okay then…

  3. bryonneufeld says: Sep 9, 2016 2:09 PM

    Hmm, it looks like Cam passed a concussion test four times now in the immediate aftermath of the game. But in all these comments people said they could see from their couch that he had a concussion! I guess the people at home know what’s up, not the doctors.

  4. streetyson says: Sep 9, 2016 2:13 PM

    Clearly a tad concussed. Some of the hits were a bit questionable but Stewart’s hit was clearly dirty and he should have been ejected (and suspended because a fine won’t work) – and the Doncos D clearly have a dirty habit so should be sanctioned for dirty play instead of mere player-fines like they got in the SB and last year. Dirty Doncos.

  5. captainspangled says: Sep 9, 2016 2:15 PM

    The injury protocol isn’t the story. Its why there was no consequence administered to the opposition for even making it a discussion point.

  6. finfansince68 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:16 PM

    Ron was NOT pulling his MVP QB out with the game on the line!

  7. johngaltwho says: Sep 9, 2016 2:21 PM

    These read option pseudo running back QBs should fully expect to get hit harder and more frequently than their pocket passer counterparts. Brady throws it away when he’s in trouble and beats you on the next play. Some like Rodgers and Wilson run less often and run smart – avoiding contact, running out of bounds, sliding… If guys wanna go all RG3, Vick, Newton – well thats a risky way to go; its a team decision, a conscious one made by the player and the franchise.

  8. abninf says: Sep 9, 2016 2:25 PM

    So if a neurotrauma doctor evaluated him and found no sign of a concussion, what’s all this drama about?

  9. orangeraider says: Sep 9, 2016 2:27 PM

    That was targeting if I ever saw.
    Not called in the NFL, BUT IT STILL WAS.
    I do not like the Panthers, but question the two sided NFL.
    Hey Goodell, You suck

  10. guitarkevin says: Sep 9, 2016 2:27 PM

    What is going to stop opposing teams from spearing a QB on a game winning drive in the hopes of concussing him, so he is forced to sit out?

    Nothing, until the NFL does something to prevent it, like suspend the players that spear.

  11. sasquatch77 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:30 PM

    This ^^^ 100%

    Cam holds onto the ball longer than just about any QB in the league, because he has the escapability and speed to frequently pull one out of his you-know-what.

    So, what? Our ends and linebackers have to be psychic enough to know when he’ll actually surrender a sack?

    I say as long as that dude is standing up, lay the wood to him.

  12. buffalosunshine says: Sep 9, 2016 2:32 PM

    did you just name the 3 black QB’s you can think of cause I saw the Denver QB run 3 or 4 times. Just because a guy can run doesn’t mean you can launch into him helmet first. IF you do it is the ref’s job to penalize you.. I agree FB is a lot different than it used to be but it should be different from everyone and not just a guy who can run.

  13. jjpmn says: Sep 9, 2016 2:33 PM

    The first time I saw helmet-to-helmet seemed to be more of a fluke in that both players just sort of arrived at the helmet-to-helmet position. Either way, there’s immediate concern for the quarterback from the broadcast team, yet none of the defensive player. Didn’t he take the same blow to the head?

  14. justbegbaby says: Sep 9, 2016 2:41 PM

    Maybe if Camera respected the game for what it is and not just a platform for his self-promotion he would get the calls.

  15. uglydingo says: Sep 9, 2016 2:41 PM

    What would Jerry Jones do?

  16. igotgamenj says: Sep 9, 2016 2:42 PM

    Keep running Newton like that he will be out of the NFL in 5 years

  17. tonebones says: Sep 9, 2016 2:42 PM

    Cam was examined this morning and was fine. No concussions. No problems. Cam was just trying to get a flag. It’s like when a basketball player flops. They’re just trying to get a whistle. Cam was ok. He was fine. Just a little drama. The medical people were 100% correct. Sorry.

  18. metalman5150 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:43 PM

    was more displeased at the few helmet to helmet hits that were not flagged. only bc had my team made the same infractions – they would have been flagged. certainly

  19. justbegbaby says: Sep 9, 2016 2:44 PM

    Concussions are nothing to mess with. Panthers should have called Dr. J. Jones to be on the safe side. Just sayin’

  20. pantherfan4life says: Sep 9, 2016 2:44 PM

    I think on plays like this when the QB has to come out to get checked the defensive player needs to come out as well otherwise teams will try to take out your player with the game on the line.

  21. bostonsteve12 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:45 PM

    What about the officials? I counted at least 4 hits to the head. The defender launched himself into the head of the QB and no penalty?

  22. cardinealsfan20 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:46 PM

    Starting to dislike Rivera. He cleverly generated a lot of sympathy speading the word about certain family tragedies. Meanwhile, he stands on the sidelines in his tinted glasses looking like some Tarantino movie extra and allows Cam to be bludgeoned every game. Perhaps he’s not the great guy everyone thinks he is.

  23. chewy724 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:47 PM

    Ron likes his job. Idiots!

  24. clt2 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:49 PM

    johngaltwho says:
    Sep 9, 2016 2:21 PM
    These read option pseudo running back QBs should fully expect to get hit harder and more frequently than their pocket passer counterparts. Brady throws it away when he’s in trouble and beats you on the next play. Some like Rodgers and Wilson run less often and run smart – avoiding contact, running out of bounds, sliding… If guys wanna go all RG3, Vick, Newton – well thats a risky way to go; its a team decision, a conscious one made by the player and the franchise.
    ——————————-
    But these hits to the head didn’t happen when he was running. They happened when he was passing. So because he is a better athlete than most QBs players should be able to tee off on his head when he is trying to throw?
    Look, he is a running back when running, but a QB when passing. It’s not that hard to differentiate between the two.

  25. whenwilliteverend says: Sep 9, 2016 2:49 PM

    If he’s going to run the ball, he’s gonna get hit. If he doesn’t want to get hit all the time, he needs to learn to throw the ball away faster. He can’t have it both ways.

    Also, he should learn to keep his mouth shut. He loves to run his mouth when things are going well then complains when another team shuts his mouth.

  26. buffalosunshine says: Sep 9, 2016 2:52 PM

    “with the game on the line”… that says all you need to know. We are talking about brain injuries that have people shooting themselves in the chest to escape vs a “game on the line”. hmmmm.. I wonder why we have a country on the verge of voting Donny Trump into office.

  27. txrawdog says: Sep 9, 2016 2:53 PM

    Man I swear I hate football fans…”they are hitting him too hard”….”They are hitting him in the head” news flash the dude is wearing a helmet to protect his brain and people get hit in football it is literally part of the game….I’d understand if this was basketball, baseball, or soccer

  28. metalman5150 says: Sep 9, 2016 2:54 PM

    Really could care more or less whether or not Cam was concussed.

    Clearly Cam took a few hits the head, via helmet to helmet contact. That doesn’t mean that Cam sustained a concussion.

    The bigger problem is that Mobile QBs, do not get the same “equal and fair” treatment that the notorious pocket passers do.

    Mobile QB Lives MATTER

  29. jjackwagon says: Sep 9, 2016 2:57 PM

    If the Panther D had been hitting Siemian like that. The yellow hankies would have been flying.

  30. mack2x says: Sep 9, 2016 2:59 PM

    abninf says:
    So if a neurotrauma doctor evaluated him and found no sign of a concussion, what’s all this drama about?

    –media fueled hyperbole

  31. metalman5150 says: Sep 9, 2016 3:00 PM

    ~Man I swear I hate football fans…”they are hitting him too hard”….”They are hitting him in the head” news flash the dude is wearing a helmet to protect his brain and people get hit in football it is literally part of the game….I’d understand if this was basketball, baseball, or soccer

    New NewFlash, Dude.

    The helmet doesn’t protect the brain, The SKULL does and so long as helmets are ‘protecting’ player’s heads, there will always be concussion as a consequence. When the brains sloshes around in the skull, it bruises, hemorrhages, and bleeds.

    No helmet will protect your brain. If you believe that helmets will protect your brain, then you are on your way to hosting numerous concussions.

  32. hugeheavywoman says: Sep 9, 2016 3:01 PM

    So like ummm, where are all the Elway haters that stone cold lock guaranteed John would be crawling to Houston today to beg Brock to comeback?

  33. kevpft says: Sep 9, 2016 3:04 PM

    “I’m not going to question the doctors” is an appropriate answer if they’ve decided to pull your player for his own safety.

    But when they instead left him in after all that cranial abuse, that answer is a cop-out bordering on cowardice.

  34. Mo Pro Babble says: Sep 9, 2016 3:05 PM

    To those who think there is a great disparity in who gets called or gets the benefit of RTP, a little research might surprise you. The highest # of calls in 2015 for a team was 8 for NO, carolina got ZERO. The highest # against was also 8 by Miami. NE got 5 for and 0 against (lousy pass rush) and they were the beneficiaries away more than at home.

    Now this doesn’t really mean anything in the real world since Denver should have at absolute minimum one more last night and a strong case can be made for another.

    Bu all in all, it’s clear to everyone but bronco fans that the field was a bit tilted last night. Too many zebras on the home side. The placement on the 3rd down play near the goal should get that ref suspended or at least investigated. Thas was blatant and I’m not sure why he thought it would fly unless the plan all along was to force CA to burn a TO

  35. Sinuous Sausage says: Sep 9, 2016 3:07 PM

    Two of the four hits were good no-calls. When he was being sacked by Ware his momentum carried him into Von who was being pushed (and probably held) by Cam’s own offensive tackle. The helmet contact was entirely incidental. Same for the one where Cam lowered his head like a battering ram on a scramble. A dude who’s 6’5″ 250lbs also packs a wallop and I think the defensive player deserves equal consideration in that scenario.

    Any grievances about the hit that was offset by intentional grounding should be addressed to the rules committee. The argument that he was ‘throwing it away to defend himself’ is laughable. That same argument could be made for any intentional grounding penalty.

    That leaves one significant hit that should have been flagged, and to me it’s not near as egregious an error as that 4th-and-21 call on Harris.

  36. DrSteveBrule says: Sep 9, 2016 3:10 PM

    I would imagine that Cam’s act gets really old with the officiating crews throughout the game and the season. The complaining, the flopping, the body language, the talking. It has to be worse down on the field. I’d love to hear some of the mic’ed up sound from this game and the Super Bowl.

  37. immafubared says: Sep 9, 2016 3:33 PM

    Sep 9, 2016 2:45 PM
    What about the officials? I counted at least 4 hits to the head. The defender launched himself into the head of the QB and no penalty?

    Here’s the deal, if they called penalties for all the head hits the game would go on for five hours. Last night even the refs couldnt keep up. How about instead of penalities we talk game ejection. Hit to the head, your out. Ends the problem right there

  38. jjfootball says: Sep 9, 2016 3:41 PM

    How come these Bronco’s idiots can hit QB’s in the head, and everyone else gets a flag?

  39. mmack66 says: Sep 9, 2016 3:50 PM

    hugeheavywoman says:
    Sep 9, 2016 3:01 PM

    So like ummm, where are all the Elway haters that stone cold lock guaranteed John would be crawling to Houston today to beg Brock to comeback?
    ————————

    Nowhere, because there weren’t any.

    Would it be possible for you Donkeys fans to dabble in reality once in a while?

  40. riderspantherssk says: Sep 9, 2016 3:50 PM

    It turns out that there are a lot of armchair doctors on the Internet…

  41. ajames35 says: Sep 9, 2016 3:51 PM

    Sinuous Sausage says:
    Same for the one where Cam lowered his head like a battering ram on a scramble. A dude who’s 6’5″ 250lbs also packs a wallop and I think the defensive player deserves equal consideration in that scenario.

    You are just making stuff up. Not a single one of the head shots being criticized came during a scramble. None. They were all behind the LOS, after a pass or during a sack. Try watching the video before sharing an opinion…

  42. therealtrenches says: Sep 9, 2016 3:57 PM

    Way to pass the buck, Ron.

  43. bucsorbust says: Sep 9, 2016 4:14 PM

    This whole thing stinks to high heaven. The refs should have caught more of the calls. That’s it’s own issue. The NFL docs should have seen what was an obvious wobbly Cam Newton…if I saw it from Tampa on my flat screen TV, I’m SURE they saw the same thing. The coaches should have caught it. Going to tell me Cam was talking fine? The NFL isn’t worried (my take) because Cam runs the ball enough he’d never be able to blame anything other than himself running the ball, not the blows to the head with rules designed to protect him as a QB back to pass.

  44. mccarthyisamoron says: Sep 9, 2016 4:18 PM

    They need some kind of g-force detectors, like air-bag sensors, in the helmets. When it goes off, a little LED light starts flashing….he’s benched for further diagnosis.

    Kinda like Rock’em Sock’em Robots.

  45. mach2plus says: Sep 9, 2016 4:24 PM

    If Cam and Ron truly want to reduce hits – including those to the head – then perhaps he should play more QB and less RB. I don’t think they can have it both ways. At least not for long.

  46. jmethane says: Sep 9, 2016 4:25 PM

    I think it all comes down to respect. People don’t respect cam with all the talking/showboating/dancing when things go well and all the complaining/crying/disrespecting opponents when thing go poorly.

    They wouldn’t be hitting Russell in the head like that because Russell wouldn’t be talking s and dancing in their faces earlier.

    Cam wants everyone to accept him for who he is…does he imagine that comes with no concequences?

    Obviously no strong role model showing him the ropes growing up.

  47. biteitlikeraffa says: Sep 9, 2016 4:27 PM

    After the worst hit he didn’t even go to the sideline, so the independent neurologist is a psychic hotline operator too.

  48. therealzeitgeist says: Sep 9, 2016 4:27 PM

    Not a “trained medical professional,” but after that last spear-hit (the offset penalty hit), Cam’s eyes were glazed like a holiday ham all the way through the ref’s timeout.

    First throw he made thereafter was high near-floater to the left side – probably because Cam was still seeing vertigo-doubles.

  49. castlelong1 says: Sep 9, 2016 4:32 PM

    Why was there a problem? According to the refs he was never hit in the head.🙂

  50. imnotsorryisaidthat says: Sep 9, 2016 4:33 PM

    newton is not liked in this league by players and now it seems his head coach also falls into that catagory

  51. castlelong1 says: Sep 9, 2016 4:38 PM

    johngaltwho says:
    Sep 9, 2016 2:21 PM
    These read option pseudo running back QBs should fully expect to get hit harder and more frequently than their pocket passer counterparts. Brady throws it away when he’s in trouble and beats you on the next play. Some like Rodgers and Wilson run less often and run smart – avoiding contact, running out of bounds, sliding… If guys wanna go all RG3, Vick, Newton – well thats a risky way to go; its a team decision, a conscious one made by the player and the franchise.
    ____________________
    While I agree, the issue is helmet to helmet contact that is illegal even if the QB is a runner. Again, I want to emphasize I agree the read option QB is open to more hits.

  52. stonedwhitetrash says: Sep 9, 2016 4:49 PM

    Newton had his bell rung or is a damn good actor.

  53. orangeraider says: Sep 9, 2016 5:54 PM

    I don’t like Carolina, BUT that sure was a helmet to helmet hit and it should not be allowed.
    A dirty hit as well.
    You are a crappy coach by not making a stink about it.

  54. rockstar904 says: Sep 9, 2016 6:15 PM

    After the offsetting penalties, you could see he was struggling a little bit. He over threw his next pass badly.

    I give him a lot of credit. He put them into position to win by shear strength of will at the end of that game.

    Anyway, got to go…I’m making Iced Gano’s in my blender….Mr. “A 60yd is like a 50yd at Mile High”…smh By that logic, you missed a 40yder.
    If he were an artist, he’d be Shanksy.

  55. Sinuous Sausage says: Sep 9, 2016 7:57 PM

    You are just making stuff up. Not a single one of the head shots being criticized came during a scramble. None. They were all behind the LOS, after a pass or during a sack. Try watching the video before sharing an opinion…

    ——————————————-

    In what universe is a scramble behind the line of scrimmage not a scramble? That hit by Roby (which I presume is one to which you object) was when Cam was well out of the pocket

  56. ajames35 says: Sep 10, 2016 10:50 AM

    Sinuous Sausage says:
    In what universe is a scramble behind the line of scrimmage not a scramble? That hit by Roby (which I presume is one to which you object) was when Cam was well out of the pocket
    ——
    Wrong. None of the at least 5 hits being criticized involved Roby…

    I repeat – every one of the cheap head shots on Cam was after a pass or during a sack. NONE of them involved Cam “lowering his head like a battering ram” as you falsely said.

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