Much of the attention regarding the multiple hits to the head of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton last week has centered on whether the concussion protocol was properly followed.
But for Panthers teammate Greg Olsen, the bigger issue is the hypocrisy that four fairly obvious hits to Newton’s head in the second half last week against the Broncos weren’t called, except for the last and most egregious one which was negated by an intentional grounding penalty.
“I think any time you talk about player safety, that’s obviously important,” Olsen said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “I just don’t think you can talk about player safety and have what unfolded. You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.
“Player safety sounds great, is a great offseason rallying cry, sounds awesome. But we got zero yards out of any of those hits. That’s the reality of it.”
Even if some Broncos are fined, and it’s fair to expect that linebacker Brandon Marshall and safety Darian Stewart will be, it’s hard to know what kind of deterrent it will be to other players.
Stewart already said he’d appeal any fine, and said that the plan was to inflict as much punishment on Newton as possible. And while that’s not a new concept, the ambiguousness Newton seems to create in officials because of his size and running ability is frustrating to the Panthers.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said that Newton was dealing with some general soreness, but showed no signs of a concussion, while maintaining that the team handled the situation properly.
Whether the league and its officials have or will is something Olsen seems to doubt.