NFL, NFLPA find no violation of concussion protocol in Cam Newton case

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The NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement on Wednesday concerning their investigations into whether the concussion protocol was followed correctly when evaluating Panthers quarterback Cam Newton on the opening night of the season.

Newton took a helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter of the game and was slow to get up, but never left the field to be evaluated for a possible concussion. The investigation found that the Panthers team doctors and the Unaffiliated Neuro-trauma Consultant (UNC) on the sideline asked the independent certified athletic trainer acting as a spotter upstairs to see video of the play because they didn’t have a clear view of the hit from the sideline.

“In order to facilitate the video review, the team physician and UNC initiated radio contact with the Booth ATC and asked to view the video. Under the current application of the Protocol, once contact between the Booth ATC and the club’s medical team occurs, the Booth ATC’s responsibilities end (including the ability to call a medical timeout),” the statement explains. “The time it took to actually receive the video following this request was prolonged due to a technology glitch.  After reviewing the replay and observing Mr. Newton from the sideline, the Panthers’ medical staff and the UNC agreed that no further evaluation of Mr. Newton was necessary as they did not observe signs or symptoms of concussion.”

The league found that the team doctors and consultant “worked closely together to provide medical care for the players involved and their team work should be emulated across the League.”

The statement also covered the application of the protocol during the Bills-Jets game in Week Two, which saw referee Ed Hochuli direct Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor to the sideline for an evaluation after a big hit. Taylor was cleared to return to the game and the statement calls Hochuli’s decision “a conservative and therefore appropriate application” of the protocol.

In addition to statements on those two incidents, the statement also outlines “enhancements” to the protocol that include using Hochuli’s actions as an example of “proactive officiating,” requiring the spotter in the booth to remain in contact with the sideline until an evaluation has occurred, and looking into the possibility of adding a UNC to the spotter in the booth.

25 responses to “NFL, NFLPA find no violation of concussion protocol in Cam Newton case

  1. what about Cam’s surly disposition ever since that game? Isn’t being a dillwad a sign of concussion?

  2. Of course not.

    The nfl is never wrong except of course when they are and they’re blatantly lying about it

  3. Technology glitch. Lol.

    The league is placing the potential well being of someone’s scrambled brain on the doorstep of a technological glitch? Classic. You cannot make this stuff up.

    Must be more of the Microsoft blues, which BB is obviously correct about, but which the league will never acknowledge.

    Let’s see… 3 billion people think the surface is glitchy. But nope. Not the nfl. It’s fine!! $$$$

  4. How could one possibly ever clear Cam from the concussion protocol? This guy may be the dumbest NFL QB in the league.

  5. Of course not. Just like the “investigation” that never happened with GOmer Manning.

    There is only something wrong, if the Pats are somehow magically involved.

    Ratings are down factually because Goodell has lied so many times, treating the customer like an absolute buffoon.

    THAT is WHY ratings are down.

    We know he got caught trying to frame Brady and don’t force me to keep posting Bill Cowher’s comments backing Belichick on Spygate.

    In another business, Goodell would have been fired a long time ago and possibly brought up on consumer fraud charges.

    That’s what this is, folks.

  6. I can’t believe you used such a disrespectful photo. He may as well be flipping us off or peeing in our faces.


  7. i bet Ted Wells with help from exponent (who testified that tobacco is harmless on behalf of big tobacco) would have found that that someone may have been generally aware that there was a violation in the concussion protocal

  8. The simple fact that they are trying to implement a process to address this issue; is a positive step.

    Generally speaking a new process being implemented never starts out perfect. Or is ever implemented perfectly. It evolves over time.

    You know just maybe; they are simply trying to protect the players and maintain the integrity of the game. Which is pretty difficult since so many coaches/players are busy attempting to get a competitive advantage by any means necessary (regardless of the rules).

  9. Not surprised. The faster the NFL puts an end to this the better they look. Imagine a multi year investigation with headlines churned out every day on the league’s handling of the player safety…

  10. The sham conclusion to a sham investigation.

    Everyone who watched the game could see Newton take repeated blows to the head. Well, everyone except the NFL and the concussion spotters.

  11. Everyone is quick to scream incompetence on this one. You’re kind of forgetting that the NFLPA also agree that there are no issues. As you know, the NFLPA and the league fight like republicans and democrats and never see eye-to-eye on anything.

    If the NFLPA, whose job is to protect its players, is in agreement with the process regarding one of its star players, I think we should be able to put this to rest and save the “the NFL is so incompetent” complaints for another story.

  12. There’s just no winning. Have to protect the players, have to keep the game moving, don’t want to take the best players off the field, can’t let it become incentivized for a team to headhunt the best players on the other team. This only gets resolved by ending the game as we know it or by accepting that some of these guys are going to have scrambled eggs for brains by the time they retire. There is no easier answer. For the NFL.

    Enter XFL 2.0 – no concussion protocol, no protecting QBs, no “defenseless receivers.” Guys get paid big bucks knowing they are just meat for the grinder. With less protection of QBs they will become less elevated in importance. The team game with thrive, running the ball will be in vogue, defense will be a thing. Good times.

  13. Not a shocker here. Ever since Brady was caught cheating, some very whiny and vocal fans have cried about everything the NFL does. Did it ever occur to anyone that Cam was slow to get up because he was trying to get a flag thrown? Or didn’t you think Cam was smart enough to do that? Well, he’s smarter than a lot of people think. By the way, all the medical tests came back negative. There was no concussion. Looks like the NFL was right again. This gets old. Are those guys ever going to get anything wrong? Lol

  14. kennylc2015 says:
    Oct 19, 2016 2:18 PM
    Everyone is quick to scream incompetence on this one. You’re kind of forgetting that the NFLPA also agree that there are no issues. As you know, the NFLPA and the league fight like republicans and democrats and never see eye-to-eye on anything.


    Even though the NFLPA concluded the same, I think there was some kind of deal under the table, otherwise why would the NFL insist they have joint statements.

    Both sides lose if they confirm there was a violation. Players lose because the NFL will be forced to crackdown on potential concussions, thus limiting their playing time against their will, especially during crunch time. NFL lose because they’ve been putting so much emphasis on player safety but yet they failed to spot an obvious concussion.

  15. Wow, an NFL investigation that sided with the NFL? Shocker…

    Isn’t it amazing how every NFL investigation always works out the way the league wants?

  16. Why do I feel like Mr. Goodell personally weighed in on this after a careful consult with the NFL’s General Counsel?

    I say we send the NFL Commish and NFLPA reps through the concussion protocol! Something is very very wrong here.

  17. Waaah NFL. Boooo NFL. The NFL killed Kennedy. Anyone even read that the NFLPA agrees? Huh? Anyone? All the patsy fans just can’t stop crying. It’s well past sad and into pathetic territory now.

  18. if it was montana or peyton manning, and this kind of mistake occurred there would be no hesitating about incompetence and correcting the system.
    Cam Newton is a great, powerful player, also a qb, so these kinds of seemingly intentional and ILLEGAL hits, and lack of medical response, are extemely prejudiced against this individual quarterback.
    God help him.

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