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Will NFL, NFLPA investigate potential violation of concussion protocol?

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08:  Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers walks off the field after the Panthers lose to the Denver Broncos 21-20 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 8, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

Last year’s Case Keenum incident made a mockery of the NFL’s concussion protocol, with the clearly-concussed Rams quarterback not removed from a game against the Rams for an evaluation. The debacle resulted in no discipline for the various persons who failed to protect Keenum from the possibility of a second concussion in the same game.

And so the NFL, showing once again a commitment to ensure that an unfortunate, embarrassing situation “will never happen again,” adopted a new procedure for enforcing the concussion protocol. From the PFT story based on the announcement made on July 25: “The joint agreement of the NFL and NFL Players Association announced Monday entails each party designate a representative ‘to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations.’ The press release announcing the program explains that ‘[t]he investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed.’ After the investigation, the league and union ‘will review the findings to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, to recommend the proper disciplinary response.'”

This means that the league and the union have equal power to launch an investigation into whether the concussion protocol properly was followed in any given situation. Which raises this question: Will the NFL or the NFLPA exercise that right regarding the failure to remove Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for a concussion evaluation during the final drive that nearly culminated in a Carolina win?

Newton seemed to be in distress after taking his latest illegal hit to the head — the only one that actually drew a flag. But he didn’t leave the field for an evaluation.

It’s the latest example of the biggest glitch in the NFL’s overall approach to concussions. Key players in crunch time rarely ever get removed for an evaluation, probably because the ATC spotter doesn’t want to be blamed for creating a competitive disadvantage if, for example, Cam Newton had been unavailable to the Panthers for the final drive if, as it turns out, Newton didn’t have a concussion.

The reluctance is understandable, but still inexcusable. If the league takes player safety as seriously as it claims to, the league needs to find a way to ensure that the concussion protocol is followed at all times, regardless of the player’s importance to the team or the importance of the moment of the game in which a concussion possibly has occurred. For now, the process continues to have a donut hole that eventually will result in a key player suffering a second concussion, which in turn could result in the kind of consequence to his health that will trigger major consequences for the sport.

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95 Responses to “Will NFL, NFLPA investigate potential violation of concussion protocol?”
  1. skoobyfl says: Sep 9, 2016 8:27 AM

    This is liken to the fox watching the hen house, it needs to be a league call in to sit a player if they see cranial distress.

  2. steelbreeze676 says: Sep 9, 2016 8:28 AM

    What’s the point, CTE comes from repeated hits of a head with the brain suspended in fluid. This concussion thing is pretty pointless since it PURPOSELY overlooks the dangers of constantly having your head hitting something – even if not concussed. Obviously because the amount of players who will suffer CTE will likely not do so for awhile – allowing plenty of collection of revenue while the can is kicked down the road at the players’ expense.

  3. factpurveyor says: Sep 9, 2016 8:28 AM

    Anyone seen the NFL PSI report from the 2015 season?

    Tom Brady is being made to miss the season opener in just 2 days and the NFL is deliberately keeping that information from football fans because it shows the science which causes footballs to lose PSI when moved from where it is warm to where it is cold. Even more if the footballs get wet.

    You can watch video showing it happing before your eyes on the popular online video site. Just search for “DEFLATE GATE & WHY SCIENCE SAYS THE PATRIOTS DID NOT TAMPER WITH FOOTBALLS”

  4. dpdonny says: Sep 9, 2016 8:31 AM

    Integrity of the game, right? Subjectively, of course, as decided by Czar Goodell.

  5. dalfanforever says: Sep 9, 2016 8:32 AM

    The NFL and teams aren’t taking this nearly as seriously as they claim. Cam was clearly shaken up and grabbed at his helmet. The flag was thrown, penalty called, but that was just one of the hits. He should have come out for evaluation. This concussion protocol thing is a farce.

    I guess as long as you can walk in a relatively straight line, they’re ok with players getting their bell rung as long as the cash registers are ringing.

  6. livenbreathefootball says: Sep 9, 2016 8:32 AM

    Cam should have been evaluated after the hit in the first half. The one that didn’t draw the flag.

    How is it not a competitive disadvantage to have a player out there who is seeing stars not open receivers?

  7. emcgeehan says: Sep 9, 2016 8:33 AM

    The NFL says what we want to hear, and then does what they want to do.

    Contempt for players and fans alike

  8. bkostela says: Sep 9, 2016 8:33 AM

    Maybe players shouldn’t duck their head into oncoming traffic if they don’t want to get concussions

  9. tajuara says: Sep 9, 2016 8:34 AM

    The NFL is all about money, not safety. Do you think that the audience wanted to see Derek Anderson in the last drive of the game? Clearly not, the audience wanted Cam Newton to redeem himself after the SB blunder.

  10. robaloconmosca says: Sep 9, 2016 8:35 AM

    If the NFL takes player safety seriously, the crew from the game will be suspended. 15 yards penalties for jumping up and down diving on an untouched defender after an interception but nothing for the helmet hits on the MVP?

  11. johnodocks says: Sep 9, 2016 8:35 AM

    If a player has to leave the field for evaluation due to a flagged helmet-to-helmet hit, the player under that other helmet should be forced to leave the field too.

  12. irkjames says: Sep 9, 2016 8:36 AM

    What they need to investigate is why the referees didn’t call penalties on two blatant shots to the head in a row, particularly one from Von Miller where he rammed right into Cam’s face with the crown of his helmet.

  13. akaodoyle says: Sep 9, 2016 8:37 AM

    “Last year’s Case Keenum incident made a mockery of the NFL’s concussion protocol, with the clearly-concussed Rams quarterback not removed from a game against the Rams for an evaluation.”

    He was so concussed he was trying to beat his own team. Luckily for the Rams, he threw 3 picks, and they pulled it out at the end.

  14. spitfisher says: Sep 9, 2016 8:38 AM

    Lets face it the NFL has convinced many that it will do anything it pleases, the show must go on!

  15. Packernet says: Sep 9, 2016 8:38 AM

    The “distress” was more to his lower body being twisted like a pretzel. If you are going to stop the game for every hit to the head then just shut down the league. It happens every play.

  16. TheDPR says: Sep 9, 2016 8:39 AM

    If the league is going to fine some Denver players – and that’s likely – then they also have to take a serious look at the spotter’s and Panthers’ failure to protect Cam Newton.

  17. miejan says: Sep 9, 2016 8:42 AM

    As an average fan who happens to have a DVR and can easily rewind and play tackles involving helmet-to-helmet contact, I see situations in every game in which defensive players use their helmets and nothing else to stop an offensive player. If I, as an average fan, can clearly see this, why can’t the NFL? Why isn’t more done to protect the heads of players?

  18. rideforjesus says: Sep 9, 2016 8:45 AM

    What????? Ruin the NFL prime time TV event by taking out a QB???

    No way will that happen…….

  19. footballfan58 says: Sep 9, 2016 8:46 AM

    Come on, people! Does anyone really believe that the NFL is serious about concussions? It was a critical time in the game. They aren’t going to risk the win and good TV ratings for concussion protocol.

    I’ve been a fan since my early high school days back in the 60’s. Have loved the NFL and my home team all this time, but I find I am not that interested in watching anymore. The league office has ruined and disgraced the game with all the crap going on in the last couple years.

  20. redeemerac says: Sep 9, 2016 8:47 AM

    Whether you like Cam or not….the lack of penalties concerning headshots on Newton last night was appalling.
    What’s the rule for if it’s never instituted?

  21. chc4 says: Sep 9, 2016 8:48 AM

    How is this the NFL’s fault? Blame the Panthers and Cam equally. Roger Goodell can’t go on the field and yank possibly concussed players off. During the game the team and player must be expected to adhere to the concussion rules the league has put in place. They all know the deal. So it is their responsibility to follow the rules. All the league can do is put regulations in place, and punish those that violate them.

  22. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 9, 2016 8:50 AM

    Actually he should’ve been checked twice – that first shot he took from the crown of the helmet to the jaw should’ve been checked too.

    That being said you got a big quarterback that runs a lot and is hard to bring down you’ve got to give the defense some more leeway on what you term as “illegal”

  23. kickinpuppies says: Sep 9, 2016 8:51 AM

    I saw lots of players hit each other with their heads last night. Why is everybody only concerned with one primadonna quarterback?

  24. bullogne says: Sep 9, 2016 8:57 AM

    Cam was physically beat up in the 2nd half. Watching his presser he didn’t seem all there. No way he should have played that last drive without proper clearance.

  25. leatherhelmets says: Sep 9, 2016 8:57 AM

    Address the helmets

  26. stoopidfool says: Sep 9, 2016 8:57 AM

    so when they going to start ejecting players for illegal shots to the head?

  27. TB12RALLYCRY says: Sep 9, 2016 8:59 AM

    The hypocritical NFL at it again….swearing before Congress and the world to monitor concussions yet turning there head as its poster boy is on all fours at midfield wondering where the hell hes at………It cant be intentional grounding when hes being speared in the head………..#joke

  28. steelbreeze676 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:00 AM

    CTE doesn’t come from concussions and any campaign to make you believe they do is purposely dishonest.

  29. steelbreeze676 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:03 AM

    The owners should be liable for the danger they’ve imposed on their players, and the evidence is the obstruction of studies and the floating of the lie that managing concussions will stop CTE.

    I’d like to see a method for the players to strip the owners of every cent they have and take the league that they themselves create.

  30. Mo Pro Babble says: Sep 9, 2016 9:06 AM

    kickinpuppies says:
    Sep 9, 2016 8:51 AM
    I saw lots of players hit each other with their heads last night. Why is everybody only concerned with one primadonna quarterback?

    because that the rule Einstien

  31. wardennorton402410 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:07 AM

    If I wore a helmet to work everyday I might think I have a pretty good chance of getting hit in the head.

    I think players with head injuries should be removed from a game. However you can’t beat your head into something for years and think everything will be alright.

  32. war27 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:08 AM

    kickinpuppies says:
    Sep 9, 2016 8:51 AM
    I saw lots of players hit each other with their heads last night. Why is everybody only concerned with one primadonna quarterback?

    ———————-

    Because you can’t touch his/the QB’s helmet while he’s in the pocket. The refs missed at least two 15 yard penalties.

  33. tylawspick6 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:11 AM

    Denver cheated by hiding Brandon Marshall’s concussion. Everyone saw it.

  34. factpurveyor says: Sep 9, 2016 9:11 AM

    Tom Brady is being made to miss the season opener in just 2 days and the NFL is deliberately keeping the PSI information collected during the 2015 season from football fans because it shows the science which causes footballs to lose PSI when moved from where it is warm to where it is cold. Even more if the footballs get wet and cold.

    You can watch video showing it happing before your eyes on the popular online video site. Just search for “DEFLATE GATE & WHY SCIENCE SAYS THE PATRIOTS DID NOT TAMPER WITH FOOTBALLS”

  35. Mo Pro Babble says: Sep 9, 2016 9:12 AM

    Well, lets see how the Integrity boys on Park ave handle this one.

    Blatant violations sans flags. Refs intentionally placing balls fart ahead of the spot where the runner was clearly down. After the replay reversal he still placed it further than the other refs marked.

    How many flags were picked up to Denver’s advantage?
    How many ticky tack calls against CA?
    penalties 8-85 for CA 4-22 for the Binkys.

    Guess I was wrong about the league not fixing games anymore.

  36. metalman5150 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:13 AM

    A lot of head shots last night amend many players, but no head shot was as drastic and looked more painful tun the one on Cam, rolling out of the pocket and eventually called for intentional grounding.

  37. jbloggs13 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:14 AM

    De Smith doesn’t about health & safety. He keeps them in the dark about data.

    In 5 years to intervene, he has doesn’t nothing about.

    He takes the NFL to court repeatedly to get his ass kicked.

    Players refuse to fire this complete loser.

  38. stickyicky97 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:18 AM

    I’m just shocked at the lack of penalties called for blatant head shots and late hits on Cam. He just doesn’t get the same calls as other QB’s in the league. Denver may be one of the dirtiest teams in the NFL right now.

  39. greenwhodat26 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:18 AM

    That’s old Riverboat Ron for you, gambling on Cam scrambled brain.

  40. greenwhodat26 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:20 AM

    Also, if you are established as a runner, regardless of position, a helmet to helmet shot is completely legal. That’s the way it should be, too. If you can’t handle it, there’s always golf.

  41. sdelmonte says: Sep 9, 2016 9:21 AM

    What an amazing show of incompetence and willful ignorance and business as usual.

  42. JSpicoli says: Sep 9, 2016 9:22 AM

    Either let them play football, and stay away from 1,000,000 reasons to have an official change the outcome of a game. or just declare the game too dangerous to play by today’s standard of weakness and over protection.

  43. kuhlest says: Sep 9, 2016 9:22 AM

    i thought that once the QB left the pocket he was a runner, so why was that last hit illegal?

  44. bryn987 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:22 AM

    Was not an illegal hit. Cam lowered his head at the last second

  45. pallidrone says: Sep 9, 2016 9:24 AM

    Better be careful putting any blame on the NFLPA. They may stop funneling money to your bank account.

  46. thisistheonlygame says: Sep 9, 2016 9:25 AM

    Simple; cut to commercial break then initiate protocol. If player fails protocol then the backup goes in; if not, player returns after missing one play (just like other on field injuries where play has stopped).

    NFL goes to commercial all the time; whenever they want. This seems like a good reason for a commercial.

    Injured player on the field stops play all the time; this is just another (potentially serious) injury.

  47. Mo Pro Babble says: Sep 9, 2016 9:32 AM

    peytonwantsaflag says:
    Sep 9, 2016 8:50 AM
    Actually he should’ve been checked twice – that first shot he took from the crown of the helmet to the jaw should’ve been checked too.

    Yup, and there should have been a flag. So the refs are ignoring the rules as well as the teams but let’s see what will be done.

    I mean it’s not as if both teams had balls below the limit and only one was punished or anything, because, you know, integrity.

    That’s right, it’s never going away.

  48. r8dernation says: Sep 9, 2016 9:32 AM

    They should investigate that potential concussion. They should also investigate that hit as targeting. They should also investigate the slap to his head that wasn’t called on the same drive. The refs sure were in preseason form last night, too bad it wasn’t a preseason game.

  49. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Sep 9, 2016 9:33 AM

    kickinpuppies says:
    Sep 9, 2016 8:51 AM
    I saw lots of players hit each other with their heads last night. Why is everybody only concerned with one primadonna quarterback?
    ——————————

    Maybe because he was obviously in some distress?
    I can’t abide Cam Newton’s act but the ATC spotter wasn’t the only one that failed last night, the officials let Denver get away with murder out there.

  50. Irsay's Bong says: Sep 9, 2016 9:33 AM

    Cam looked like a deer in the headlights last few minutes of that game, no urgency or awareness of the situation. Clearly dazed.

  51. RegisHawk says: Sep 9, 2016 9:37 AM

    You should start with Ron Rivera not pulling his player.

  52. mongo3401 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:37 AM

    Not a Cam fan but the kid did get beat up Denver did the same thing with Marshal who was clearly shaken but went back in the game

    With a few exceptions , if most NFL QBs took that beating Cam took last night , no way they could play the rest of the game. Just confirms the only thing that matters is wins

  53. factschecker says: Sep 9, 2016 9:38 AM

    To much crying in modern football. From the players. From the fans. From the media.

    I miss the old days when football was a mans game played by men. I miss the “may the best man win.” mentality.

    The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. If you can’t handle both outcomes then football probably isn’t the right source of entertainment for you.

  54. parilli15 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:38 AM

    Can’t ethically initiate a concussion protocol if the refs say Newton wasn’t hit in the head. Forcing him out of the game at that point would have been viewed as the ultimate fix. If you’re gonna force the possibly concussed played out of the game, then to competitively balance things you ought to force the defensive played who made the hit to sit down as well. If I’m the coach and someone forces my QB out of the game in the final minute for an evaluation after a bush league hit, I’m pulling my team off the field, delay of game penalty be dammed.

  55. jwcarlson says: Sep 9, 2016 9:40 AM

    I didn’t even watch a full quarter of the game and saw Cam get his bell rung at least three times.

    Don’t know about there being missed flags as the rules are so screwed up that they could basically call anything at anytime.

    What I do know is that kind of abuse won’t find you playing football about half way through the season.

    Thought he had some pretty nasty leg hits yesterday too.

  56. vdogg says: Sep 9, 2016 9:41 AM

    Will we ever be able to watch someone get hit in the head and NOT assume they are instantly suffering a concussion?

  57. mongo3401 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:41 AM

    To me that officiating crew was horrible. Threw flags when there was t penalties. Picked two flags up because no penalty happens and most ridiculous was the one called on the offensive lineman for jumping up and down in the end zone after a TD Then kept flags in their pocket when there was a clear violation. Refs are miserable bad these days

  58. lewsblues says: Sep 9, 2016 9:44 AM

    let ’em play…. they’re men and certainly aware of their ability to continue.

  59. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:44 AM

    “Maybe players shouldn’t duck their head into oncoming traffic if they don’t want to get concussions”

    I only watched a few minutes of the game and only saw two of these hits. In both of them Cam did not duck his head and the shorter defender launched himself upwards for a direct helmet to helmet hit.

    SMH

  60. jonathankrobinson424 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:49 AM

    …..I see a strong market developing for FULL games of the 60’s , 70’s, 80, and part of the 90’s were hit’s were hits, and football was football. I would love to watch those games again……

  61. julyeast says: Sep 9, 2016 9:49 AM

    and lost in the shuffle is Collinsworth gushing over the Panther RT – why? because he held Miller for 3 straight quarters and got away with it? yet they call illegal contact on a 4th and 22. NFL is making more rule changes and ignoring the rules for offensive line play to help the offenses more than the Refs and League helped the Bulls from 90-91 through 97-98.

    and to all the fair weather Cheater fans: stop. enough. Marcia is just as guilty as PED users who get 4 games – do we REALLY know if taking some supplement helps them? NO. Point is that they are trying to get an unfair advantage. Same thing as texting equipment guys that the balls are too heavy. and where were you people opening day 1988 against a division rival? I was in Boston and could not watch game because it was blacked out as there were 20,000 seats unsold.

  62. smokehouse56 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:50 AM

    Someone tell me the difference between today’s NFL
    and the 4th century gladiators in the Roman Coliseum.

  63. The Almighty Cabbage says: Sep 9, 2016 9:50 AM

    steelbreeze676 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 8:28 AM

    What’s the point, CTE comes from repeated hits of a head with the brain suspended in fluid. This concussion thing is pretty pointless since it PURPOSELY overlooks the dangers of constantly having your head hitting something – even if not concussed. Obviously because the amount of players who will suffer CTE will likely not do so for awhile – allowing plenty of collection of revenue while the can is kicked down the road at the players’ expense.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yes, exactly. Along with everything mentioned above, there’s also the inconvenient fact that helmets are designed to protect the skull, not the brain. As helmets have gotten “better” over the years, violent hits involving the head have increased proportionally.

  64. imodan says: Sep 9, 2016 9:53 AM

    I kinda expected the NFL to do whatever it took to get Peyton Manning his parting gift SB ring last year, that’s how the league rolls now. But apparently the officials didn’t get the memo. Between the several hits to the head, the officials blatantly marking the ball clearly in order to give Denver a first down, twice, taunting penelty to a guy hopping up and down after a TD, and the best of all, defensive holding not called because well, according to the official the player went from offense to defense during a punt. Huh??? It was a great game. Denver’s young QB looked good. Two very good teams going at it should be given the respect of good officiating which clearly they were not afforded last night.

  65. aljack88 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:56 AM

    A team is winning by less points than a field goal, time is winding down and the opposing team’s QB is moving the ball downfield getting closer to field goal range….. as a D, what are you going to do? How do you get that QB from making any more key plays?

    a side note – did anyone notice if Phillips or any other Bronco coach was complaining about Newton not being taken off the field for enforcing the concussion protocol?

  66. FinFan68 says: Sep 9, 2016 9:59 AM

    Yank a player to undergo the protocol when necessary. If the hit was flagged and the player is deemed to have a concussion, the guy that hit him should sit the series. In cases where the potential concussion comes from an illegal hit, call a TV timeout to conduct the eval. If no concussion, the player should not have to sit out a play as with other injuries since the TO is used to actually see if there is an injury or not. That should eliminate any competitive advantage.

    They need to do something like this to avoid purposeful (condoned) headhunting. All teams look for any advantage they can get. Suppose the playoffs are on the line late in the season and the team trailing is driving late for a potential win. The team with the lead could send in the backup to drill the QB and force the protocol and potentially preserve the win and a playoff spot. The fine would be small in comparison and the player involved could be ‘taken care of’ by the team.

  67. motsuret06 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:03 AM

    The League is FOS and will continue to be as long as Roger Goodell is the Commissioner and the owners continue to support him as long as the cash registers keep humming and player safety is on its lowest rung of priorities. Action speaks louder than words and the No Fun League is at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to player safety. Lawsuits need to be filed against the NFL for its bush league handling of these matters. Player safety is paramount over the ringing of the NFL’s cash registers.

  68. imodan says: Sep 9, 2016 10:09 AM

    The offsetting penalties on the flagged hit had me scratching my head. Ya, I get offsetting penalties but when a league makes such strong commitments(sarcasm) to reduce head shots and when one is clear and obvious and goes unpunished well, just doesn’t seem right. Maybe there’s a way to fix that. There really should be.

  69. imodan says: Sep 9, 2016 10:10 AM

    smokehouse56 says:
    Sep 9, 2016 9:50 AM

    Someone tell me the difference between today’s NFL
    and the 4th century gladiators in the Roman Coliseum.
    —————————————————-
    Millions, no, billions of dollars.

  70. tattooit says: Sep 9, 2016 10:14 AM

    factpurveyor
    Sep 9, 2016, 8:28 AM EDT
    Anyone seen the NFL PSI report from the 2015 season?

    Tom Brady is being made to miss the season opener in just 2 days and the NFL is deliberately keeping that information from football fans because it shows the science which causes footballs to lose PSI when moved from where it is warm to where it is cold. Even more if the footballs get wet.

    You can watch video showing it happing before your eyes on the popular online video site. Just search for “DEFLATE GATE & WHY SCIENCE SAYS THE PATRIOTS DID NOT TAMPER WITH FOOTBALLS
    *****************

    As a concerned PFT reader, I say this with nothing but love.

    You really should consider seeking professional help. It’s not normal or healthy to let something like this consume your life.

  71. PokeSalad says: Sep 9, 2016 10:18 AM

    Someone tell me the difference between today’s NFL
    and the 4th century gladiators in the Roman Coliseum.

    I didn’t realize Roman gladiators were paid millions of dollars to fight in the Coliseum, had free agency, lucrative endorsement deals, and some even appeared on Dancing With the Toga Stars – guess I was sick the day all that was covered in history class.

  72. All-American Voltron says: Sep 9, 2016 10:35 AM

    Forget about the concussion protocol, how about the fact that the Broncos hit Cam with THREE helmet to helmet hits, plus one player hitting Cam’s head on a tackle, and only one penalty out of all FOUR illegal blows to Cam’s head.

    it’s the referees and the Broncos that should be investigated…

  73. mogogo1 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:42 AM

    The NFL will never be trustworthy on this because they’re basically being asked if their sport is too dangerous to play. Any bets on how the billion dollar business is going to keep answering that one?

  74. jonathankrobinson424 says: Sep 9, 2016 10:43 AM

    …….I think we may have a NEW category in fantasy football…..you get 5 points for every concussion that’s so obvious to TV football viewers BUT the NFL fails to call…….at this point we all have to laugh at the NFL and their stupid rules & non-calls……….

  75. whispersd says: Sep 9, 2016 10:55 AM

    When a discussion like this one comes up, and you see a few commenters taking what can only be described as a pro-injury position, you have to think that the NFL has paid trolls here.

  76. whispersd says: Sep 9, 2016 10:59 AM

    The offsetting penalties on the flagged hit had me scratching my head.

    Me, too. I know it’s the rulebook, but how are Intentional Grounding and a personal foul for Unsportsmanlike Conduct/Blow to the Head treated as equal penalties?

    Is that what the NFL is saying? That they’ll penalize players who target the head of the QB, unless the QB is throwing the ball away, and as a result of being hit the ball falls 1 yard short of the line of scrimmage?

    Underwhelming.

  77. sumkat says: Sep 9, 2016 11:10 AM

    I don’t see why everyone seems to be in agreement that this is 100% of the League and/or the Panthers

    Does Cam live under a rock? Does he somehow, in 2016, not know the dangers of concussions? In the loooong timeout while the refs decided what penalties they were going to call, was he looking for his backup to come in? The answer to all 3 questions is the same

    At some point, the players has to shoulder at least some of the responsibility. It’s not as if, again, in 2016, if you say to the trainer “hey man, I’m feeling a little woozy after that last hit” the trainer is going to say “ahh, you are fine, rub some dirt on it”

    You want to pretend that players of the past somehow didn’t know that using their body as a battering ram for decades would have health risks later in life? Sure, why not? I’m not buying it, but we are a victim society now, it is what it is. But in no way, shape, or form can you possibly believe that today’s player suffer the same ignorance (Please don’t give me “but he’s could lose his job if he comes out”, it’s Cam Newton, that would be a concern for the 50th man on the roster, who the team shouldn’t be that worried if they miss a play or two)

  78. steelpenguin6687 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:15 AM

    First off, I’m not a Panther fan..but those shots Newton took to the head were ridiculous…

    All this “talk” about player safety is bunk, and the rule book needs rewritten if a PF and intentional grounding are offsetting penalties.

    I think Newton was rattled, and probably should have been removed from the game. In last few minutes, he just seemed completely off his game.

  79. sumkat says: Sep 9, 2016 11:18 AM

    whispersd says:
    Sep 9, 2016 10:59 AM
    The offsetting penalties on the flagged hit had me scratching my head.

    Me, too. I know it’s the rulebook, but how are Intentional Grounding and a personal foul for Unsportsmanlike Conduct/Blow to the Head treated as equal penalties?

    Is that what the NFL is saying? That they’ll penalize players who target the head of the QB, unless the QB is throwing the ball away, and as a result of being hit the ball falls 1 yard short of the line of scrimmage?

    Underwhelming.

    _____________

    I can see the point, but the example is terrible. A decent example would be when a guy jumps off sides, and the someone on the offense throws a chop block. Or the offense lines up with a guy slightly off the line, and it offsets a personal foul that would give up a 1st, or a 35 yard PI penalty.

    A, technically, the Panthers made out on that call. Cam was more than 5 yards behind the line when he threw the ball, and with a 10 yards from the spot of the foul penalty, they’d of lost more than 15 yards. B, “as a result of being hit, the ball falls short” is just incorrect. Should it of been a penalty? Yes, without a doubt. A shot to the head is a shot to the head. But the ball was well out of his hand before contact, it was falling well short of the line regardless of the hit

  80. rportkid says: Sep 9, 2016 11:21 AM

    The NFL does not care at all about player safety or health..period. Whatever they say about it is lip service and lies. The most corrupt organization in sports history.

  81. metalman5150 says: Sep 9, 2016 11:24 AM

    watch dogs: bellweather.

  82. bkostela says: Sep 9, 2016 11:44 AM

    I only watched a few minutes of the game and only saw two of these hits. In both of them Cam did not duck his head and the shorter defender launched himself upwards for a direct helmet to helmet hit.

    SMH
    ________________

    While I agree 100% that Brandon Marshall launched at Cam (and somehow wasn’t flagged), Stewart was gearing up the hit Cam in his chest and Cam ducked right before contact. It may have been a result of Cam being tackled from behind at the same time as Stewart was hitting him from the front, similar to the Miller hit when Cam was being sacked by Ware.

    Aside from the Marshall hit that should have been flagged and quite frankly Marshall should have been ejected, I thought all the other hits were football plays that resulted in the quarterback getting hit hard.

    As a quarterback, if you break the pocket and don’t want to get hit, throw the ball away EARLY, not when the defender has already began his tackling motion.

  83. patswhatsup says: Sep 9, 2016 12:14 PM

    OOOOOOooohhhh I get it, you mean if they cared about player safety they would call and flag illegal hits? Oh wait no, they don’t do that. At least they didn’t last night.

  84. meditatingamigo says: Sep 9, 2016 12:19 PM

    So, every team will now carry a designated “head knocker” on the roster. This is an expendable player whose job it is to hit an opposing player on the head as hard as possible at critical points in the game so that the player has to be removed for “concussion protocol investigation”. No big deal if the head knocker is suspended, because he’s expendable and another will take his place.

  85. patriotsticketssince1978 says: Sep 9, 2016 12:19 PM

    The player that seemed in the most distress was the rookie Norwood for Denver. He was blocking on a running play and clearly was knocked senseless. He lay prone for a while then staggered to his feet and onto the sideline. He played later in the game.

  86. the610limited says: Sep 9, 2016 12:58 PM

    The league and the NFLPA have to make it clear that the ”ATC” has supreme allied commander-like status to make the call, regardless of how the game is playing out or the importance of the game (i.e., playoffs, Super Bowl). The last thing the league wants is to have Congress sticking their nose into their business (read: tax exempt status), but the day someone gets pummeled in the head during a game (i.e., Case Keenum), later goes into a coma and never comes out of it, is the day the stuff hits the fan really hard. And that’s when Congress may go with an option play: Fire the commissioner, or we’ll yank the tax exempt and start a committee looking into the league. No flip of the coin needed.

  87. einherjer00 says: Sep 9, 2016 1:09 PM

    Let’s face it, no one wants a QB pulled in this instance, and in crunch time at the end of a game, they shouldn’t be. Fighters get knocked off their feet by hits to the head and continue fighting, a QB can finish or go out for one more drive with their bell rung, and the odds of either incident leading to catastrophe are quite low.

    I think it’s after some time has passed (at least 30 min or so, maybe hours), after the brain has started repairing from a concussion in earnest, that it becomes much more dangerous to take another one before recovery. If that weren’t the case, there would be a lot more early retirements and death due to head trauma in fighting and football up to now, I believe.

  88. mlvcfan says: Sep 9, 2016 1:35 PM

    So am I alone if feeling like if the league doesn’t want the A paticular team to win say the AFC title game they just have to have an opponent tap the QB in the helmet and pull him for concussion review during a crucial drive. This could be your QB And your team anytime the NFL needs an outcome they desire. NBA games have been fixed in the past why not NFL. That game last night felt very much in the bag. I have NO faith in the integrity of the game any more. Follow the $$$$
    Btw I am not a fan of either team and that game last night looked rigged.

  89. thisistheonlygame says: Sep 9, 2016 1:37 PM

    The only way this problem really gets solved is by removing incentives for either team to abuse the concussion protocol for competitive advantage. While also removing the disincentives for officials to initiate the concussion protocol.

    Official initiates protocol:

    Game would stop (Same as when a player stays down on field after play).

    Evaluation occurs. (During TV timeout)

    Player passes:
    Misses one play (just like any other time player stays down after play)

    Player fails:
    Player is out for rest of game.

    Game continues.

    No additional incentives for head hunter players beyond whats already happening today with any injury. No disincentives for officials as effect on game is minimized.

  90. saints4everblog says: Sep 9, 2016 2:58 PM

    Not Superman after all!

  91. stellarperformance says: Sep 9, 2016 3:04 PM

    Why not outfit the helmets with pressure monitors. Any blow that exceeds a certain human-hurtful level…..he comes out AND the guy that hit him.

  92. twopaw513 says: Sep 9, 2016 3:08 PM

    Fans will only get upset about this if a certain team is involved. They will ignore this like they ignore the cheating history of their own teams and continue to act like self righteous hypocrites.

  93. plum54 says: Sep 9, 2016 3:38 PM

    What the NFL needs to ” investigate” is why Denver was allowed to get away with BLATANT infractions! So now Denver knows it is okay to get away with illegal head to head hits. What a scam.
    No surprise though, especially since their super bowl MVP was the player that was caught cheating during a drug test ,there by causing the protocol for urine collection to be revised. Nice legacy.

  94. riderspantherssk says: Sep 9, 2016 3:53 PM

    Assuming the independent spotters did what the league says they did and saw the hits and felt Newton didn’t need to be taken out- then their opinion is an educated one, unlike the opinions of almost everyone commenting, one way or the other.

  95. campcouch says: Sep 9, 2016 6:45 PM

    Hold on. I spent one hour during pre-game hearing how massive and powerful he is. More during the game. Was Newton hurt or hamming it up to get the flag on the next call? He didn’t say…but the same “fans” looking out for him now are the same ones who called him soft for nor diving for a fumble as linebackers and linemen went for it. Sometime concern is laughable.

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