Everyone watching the game knew Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall got away with an illegal hit to the head of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton last night, so it would have been alarming if the NFL tried to claim otherwise. Fortunately, the NFL is not trying to claim otherwise.
NFL Media reports that the league office considers that play “obviously a missed call.” Marshall lowered his helmet and launched himself directly at Newton’s head. Marshall will certainly be fined.
Broncos linebacker Von Miller also hit Newton on a play that wasn’t flagged, but that wasn’t necessarily a missed call, as the league office contends that one was close enough that it’s reasonable for the officials not to have called it.
The league is facing a lot of criticism today, both for the officials failing to flag the hits on Newton and for the medical personnel failing to pull Newton from the game to be evaluated for a concussion.
The Panthers say Newton was checked between possessions, checked again after the game and checked again today and does not have a concussion.