NFL launches a joint review of the Cam Newton concussion protocol

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The NFL has yet another concussion-protocol controversy. And it will have yet another concussion-protocol investigation.

“A joint review by the NFL and NFLPA of the application of the Concussion Protocol following the tackle of Mr. Newton during the Panthers-Saints game is underway,” the NFL announced on Monday. “According to the policy developed by the NFL and NFLPA, if the Concussion Protocol is not properly followed the club is subject to discipline.”

As learned in the Russell Wilson case, the discipline for a first offense is only a fine of up to $150,000 plus remedial training. Which is a ridiculously small price to pay for keeping a key player available for the key moments of a key game on which the entire season is riding.

Apart from whether the Panthers correctly applied the protocol is the question of whether the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant properly managed and/or supervised the process. It’s one thing for Russell Wilson to slip through the fingers of sideline personnel to get back on the field before he was checked for a concussion; it’s quite another for a player who arguably needs (in light of recent policy changes) a locker-room evaluation to get a perfunctory check in the medical tent when the available visual evidence suggests that something more was happening.

Hovering over the entire situation is the league’s decision, conscious or otherwise, to accept criticism for allowing a player to keep playing over criticism for removing a player from play for 10-15 minutes of real time so that he can be checked in the locker room for a concussion that he doesn’t have under circumstances that could result in a mountain of criticism from those who believe that the outcome of a playoff game was determined by a helicopter doctor who protected a player from himself strongly enough to put his team in unnecessarily jeopardy.

42 responses to “NFL launches a joint review of the Cam Newton concussion protocol

  1. If the NFL was serious they Punish the club hard, and put some of it on the player as well.

    Make it a 3rd draft pick being stripped from the club, and a one game suspension of the player and 150k fine to the player and it stops instantly.

  2. Cam colapses on way to sideline. Panthers explaination ” he got poked in the eye”. Becuase everybody colapses in a heap when poked in the eye. Which he wasn’t. The other players foot brushed up against his face mask that incudes the visor over the eye

  3. As far as the player’s well-being is concerned, what difference is it that it’s the playoffs?

  4. If they truly care for player safety the punishment has to be harsh enough to make teams follow protocol. $500k and a high draft pick. Otherwise its gonna be more of the same. Which will lead to someone getting seriously hurt and lots of people being sued.

  5. It was made clear, I think on ESPN PrimeTime, that the reason he went down to one knee after initially making his way to the sideline was that the coaches were telling him to get down. This was to afford Anderson extra time to get ready. The video replay showed a coach on the sideline motioning for Cam to get down.

  6. There needs to be a “relief pitcher” rule for QB concussion situations. Pause the game. Let the backup throw a couple passes and take a couple snaps. The optics of a QB falling to the ground so his backup gets a chance to warm up is not great.

  7. malarkey1 says:
    January 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    It was made clear, I think on ESPN PrimeTime, that the reason he went down to one knee after initially making his way to the sideline was that the coaches were telling him to get down. This was to afford Anderson extra time to get ready. The video replay showed a coach on the sideline motioning for Cam to get down.

    Some may consider this cheating. If you’re going to fake concussion symptoms to get a TO, which BTW is pretty slimy considering the state of the NFL, then you go through the full protocol for however many plays that takes.

  8. Litigation mitigation…Nothing more. With incessant investigations, video review etc the NFL is turning Court TV.How about you worry about quality of product on field.

  9. Bottom-line…..the punishment is worth winning a regular season game much less a playoff game. They’ll gladly pay the 100k in exchange for having Newton try win the game in the last 2 minutes.

  10. If the league really cared, Thomas Davis wouldn’t have been playing yesterday. The players are fully grown men (yes, even though Cam acts like a Whitney baby, he’s officially a grown-up). Let them decide if they want to play through concussions. It’s obvious that they kind of already are.

  11. —-billjones383 says:
    January 8, 2018 at 2:40 pm
    If the NFL cared that should have been a penalty for a hit to the head, but they never have cared when teams target Cam Newtons head.—-

    Please spare us this nonsense. Cam was rushing and turning to avoid a sack at the exact same time the other guy was trying to take him down. It was a bang-bang play.

  12. Lemmy Aksyadis says: “Some may consider this cheating. If you’re going to fake concussion symptoms to get a TO, which BTW is pretty slimy considering the state of the NFL, then you go through the full protocol for however many plays that takes.”
    ————–

    He wasn’t faking anything. His visor was pushed up into his eye, so he gets an injury timeout only if he takes a knee on the field. Otherwise, running off to the sideline gives no time to get Derek Anderson ready and a play call in.

  13. The problem here isn’t weather or not Cam was “acting” or really concussed. After all, the Panthers were looking for a new owner…and now they have one. The New Orleans Saints absolutely owned the Panthers this season.

    If the NFL was serious about this protocol situation, they would slam the Carolina organization with a $150k fine. The Panthers seem to have offered that they asked Newton to kneel to give Anderson a chance to warm up…which in itself is a violation of the rules. The chance the Panthers took was having the NFL ( and 30 million viewers ) think that he was concussed…so if they wanted to do that ( giving Anderson time to adjust )they should pay the full penalty.

  14. Panthers cheated the system. They are only potentially hurting their own players. This nonsense that his visor was pushed into his eye is from people who know nothing about football equipment. If that were the case, then the stupid visor would have sustained damage. It was perfectly fine when he sat on his butt on the field looking around not knowing where the hell he was. Go watch the damn video of it. Silly that this is even a story. Of course the Panthers ignored protocol. Who cares, they are out of playoffs and at home for the remainder of the post season.

  15. I have a better concussion protocol that the NFL should follow.

    Have all of the players sign a medical clearance form at the beginning of the year that states they won’t hold the NFL liable for an injury to the head during the season, if they refuse to come out of a game when hit. Then, if during a game, a player is concussed and wants to remain in the game, they do so at their own risk.

    Saves the protocol shenanigans and the viewers 10-15 min of commercials – a win-win if you ask me.

  16. Righttttt! Yeah, because “Eye Pokes” always leave players down on the ground not moving for 5-10 seconds, then helped to sit up, looking dazed & confused for another couple of minutes, then, heading to sideline go down on a knee, never reaching for the eye!

    Except that one time in high school, when playing football, I got poked in the eye because I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a face plate that guarantees that can’t happen…and I instantly reached for my eye, bent over writhing in pain yelling “My eye! My eye! You poked me in the eye!”. (didn’t really happen, but you get the point).

    Saying he poked his eye is about as believable as Brady claiming to be innocent. All the proof shows otherwise.

  17. “Pause the game. Let the backup throw a couple passes and take a couple snaps.”

    That’s a good point. MLB allows relief pitchers to throw warmups before they come into a game (even though they were warming up in the bullpen). Why not allow backup quarterbacks to do the same?

  18. Bad eye poke is extremely painful and disorienting. For all practical purposes you’re essentially blind, as both eyes tear up and succumb, sympathetically, to the pain reflex that protects an injured eye.

  19. malarkey1 says:
    January 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    It was made clear, I think on ESPN PrimeTime, that the reason he went down to one knee after initially making his way to the sideline was that the coaches were telling him to get down. This was to afford Anderson extra time to get ready. The video replay showed a coach on the sideline motioning for Cam to get down.

    ———————
    That was as much a nonsense excuse as the eye poke thing. He didnt just go to one knee, he went to one knee, then to all fours, and was struggling not to buckle further. The guy was hurting bad.

  20. I think the final paragraph of this story hit it on the head. The NFL would rather the fallout from letting a hurt player back into a game than having the game outcome get questioned if they removed a key player for being hurt. Whether or not there was a concussion they know that player is going to tell every reporter that they were fine and should not have been removed.

    But someday that game of roulette is going to blow up, a player that should not be allowed back in gets back in, and something more serious happens.

  21. mark4steelers says:
    January 8, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Saying he poked his eye is about as believable as Brady claiming to be innocent.

    ———————-
    So you honestly do believe he was poked in the eye huh?

  22. honalulublue says:
    January 8, 2018 at 4:05 pm
    Bad eye poke is extremely painful and disorienting. For all practical purposes you’re essentially blind, as both eyes tear up and succumb, sympathetically, to the pain reflex that protects an injured eye.

    ——————
    True, and you cant help yourself from the reflexive action to put your hands up to the injured eye.

  23. Cam pulled his usual theoretic, heck he had a shield on. He had no problem showing us his teeth when all was going well, Cam is Cam no wonder he was not sent to locker room for inspection

  24. He got his bell rung pretty good and his eyes showed it. He still had his wits about him to try to play it off as something else to avoid the protocol. But he definetly was woozy after that hit.

    Also, compare the post game interviews of Wilson and Newton and tell me which player looked like they were concussed. There was no way Wilson had a concussion, but Kam either had a few too many shots in the locker room, or his head was in a major fog. I’m not saying Wilson should have NOT been checked for a concussion…just that it’s likely he did not have one.

  25. beavertonsteve says:
    January 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    There needs to be a “relief pitcher” rule for QB concussion situations. Pause the game. Let the backup throw a couple passes and take a couple snaps. The optics of a QB falling to the ground so his backup gets a chance to warm up is not great.

    ————
    Yeah….because there are not enough delays already….

  26. malarkey1 says:
    January 8, 2018 at 2:19 pm
    It was made clear, I think on ESPN PrimeTime, that the reason he went down to one knee after initially making his way to the sideline was that the coaches were telling him to get down. This was to afford Anderson extra time to get ready. The video replay showed a coach on the sideline motioning for Cam to get down.

    54 14 Rate This

    ————-

    because he was concussed

  27. Superman a/k/a “AceBoogie” a/k/a Cam(eron) Newton was concussed.
    Derek Anderson COULD NOT WAIT to take the field, but Cam brushed himself off lol

    Cam was not himself the entire game, but the loss is on the missed FG and the end zone TD drop, which would have secured a 36-31 victory for Cam-rolina. Better luck in 2018!

  28. The issue here isn’t weather or not Cam was “acting” or really concussed. The issue here was that Carolina very KNOWINGLY cheated the system and gave a Sargent Shultz to the concussion protocol system due to the importance of the match. When this happened this became a “competition” issue–in other words knowing cheating.

    That this was knowing cheating is why the league must relate to the situation not only monetarily but punish as related to competition. This becomes somewhat complex in that the ownership will be changing, thus in addition to any punishment to the team the player and the head coach must be disciplined as well should an investigation determine that either/both were calculated in the decision and the cover up.

    By “cover up” I am alluding to the lie related to the “poke in the eye” and “no concussion. The “Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant” becomes a key player here, he would have no reason to not relate to the truth regarding “concussion concern” in the investigation questioning.

  29. used to be the NFL only had armchair quarterbacks, now they have arm chair doctors and lawyers that dissect every bit of minutiae from the days football game. The rise in arm chair doctors and lawyers and the print donated to them is only going to increase as the product on the field continues to decrease.

  30. Was Cam evaluated after the game, does Cam have a concussion?

    Who are the guys in the tent? They should be NFL doctors, not team doctors.

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