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Panthers defend their handling of Cam Newton after repeated headshots

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) smiles during warm ups prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney) AP

While the NFLPA and the NFL are investigating whether the Panthers followed the proper concussion protocol after quarterback Cam Newton took four hits to the helmet last Thursday in Denver (one of which was flagged by the NFL’s officials), the Panthers are defending their track record on head injuries.

Via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, the Panthers insist Newton was checked out properly during the game, and that he was not concussed.

I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our medical staff,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “We follow the protocol the way it’s been explained to us, and I say that because of what we’ve done the last few years.”

The Panthers can point to the way they’ve handled things in the past, such as with middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who suffered a concussion during the opener and missed the following three weeks.

“He was dying to get back in and they wouldn’t let him,” center Ryan Kalil said. “He’s arguably one of the best defensive players in the league — I’d want him back in there, too. So I think our guys have done a great job with that stuff over the years.”

Kalil said he saw no indication that Newton wasn’t in any shape to play, despite the repeated hits to the head from the Broncos. The Panthers said Newton went through four tests including after the game and upon arriving back in Charlotte, and hasn’t shown any concussion-related symptoms.

“I saw a guy who’s trying to score. I saw a guy who was trying to get us in a good position to win,” Kalil said. “If he had any problems I didn’t see it. We were talking about one the protections, and he reminded me about something we talked about earlier in the week, so I thought he was fine.”

Rivera said other than the usual soreness associated with such a physical game, Newton was fine, and was expected to play against the 49ers.

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10 Responses to “Panthers defend their handling of Cam Newton after repeated headshots”
  1. eagleswin says: Sep 13, 2016 8:41 AM

    I’d be more concerned about the refs complete disregard of the headshots. If they had called them we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  2. renocarolina says: Sep 13, 2016 9:22 AM

    I realize I am a Panther fan, but does anyone else find it ridiculous that it is the Panther organization on trial for the repeated illegal helmet to helmet hits that were not called on Denver?

    Panther trainers tended to Cam, he did not have a concussion. Two league spotters in booth both had bronco blinders worn by refs on as well….. they did not stop play.

    If the Panthers are penalized in any way for this I predict riots in the street…. or at the very least the removal of the NFL logo from the middle of our field.

  3. orivar says: Sep 13, 2016 9:58 AM

    “Kalil said he saw no indication that Newton wasn’t in any shape to play”

    Other than him being on the ground for a prolonged period, not showing the same command he had before in the shotgun, and clearly delaying the snap to regain consciousness or whatever even though it was a hurry-up situation.

  4. tonebones says: Sep 13, 2016 10:20 AM

    The bottom line is that Cam was checked out during the game, after the game, and the next morning, and he was 100% ok. No concussion whatsoever. I think Cam was flopping to try to get a call. It’s drama. The refs are onto it. Read the bottom line again. Can medically checked out 100% ok. The Panthers were right. The NFL was right. All the others were wrong. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good story, especially if it’s anti-NFL.

  5. aljack88 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:33 AM

    “I realize I am a Panther fan, but does anyone else find it ridiculous that it is the Panther organization on trial for the repeated illegal helmet to helmet hits that were not called on Denver?”
    I’m not a Panthers’ fan (nor a hater) but totally agree with you. The NFL supposedly put in place their new protocol that basically takes this responsibility away from the team during games;
    but in their usual manner, the crowned fool and his cronies are passing the buck.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how the Broncos play against Luck this Sunday, especially if it’s a close game going into the 4th qtr.

  6. harrisonhits2 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:34 AM

    The league obviously cares zero about player safety with the sole exception of what they might get sued over.

    Now they’re trying to deflect the blame from their spotters to the Panthers.

    There has never been any modern sports commission so corrupt and inept as Goodell.

  7. ricko1112 says: Sep 13, 2016 10:51 AM

    Plain and simple, the Panthers wanted to win. That’s why Newton was left in.

    That said, if the refs weren’t going to call a penalty on those head shots, why stop? We all realize that Denver is the dirtiest team in the NFL. Salary cap cheats to 2 SB** “wins, Vaseline slathered unis, chop blocks taught with the sole purpose of injury, PED use unrivaled by even Seattle, etc.

    The NFL didn’t care about those violations while Elway was playing because of the yearly, “Win one for John,” campaign. Once Elway was gone, they got a little slap on the wrist.

    The refs saw those blatant head shots just as clearly as the millions at home. They chose not to call them. Denver, Indy, Baltimore, and the Jets have been allowed to cheat without consequences since Goodell has been in charge. Disgusting!

  8. spotsdad says: Sep 13, 2016 10:55 AM

    Re watch Newton’s post game interview. He said he was asked ?’s regarding concussion AFTER the game, not DURING the game after the hit. This is not the protocol. Someone messed up.

  9. aldavisfortytime says: Sep 13, 2016 11:32 AM

    There are dirty hits in every game by each team.

    In this game alone Trai Turner had two dirty hits.

    In the SNF game, Julian Edelman intentionally lead with the head on a block.

    Brandon Flowers intentionally hit Jeremy Maclin in the head on KC’s game tying drive.

    Every team plays this way, the new rules have defined it as dirty, but no one is truly enforcing it yet.

  10. lapantherfan86 says: Sep 13, 2016 12:52 PM

    Broncos played dirty (again).
    Incompetent refs missed multiple calls (again).
    So naturally the Panthers are under investigation.

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