There weren’t any roughing the passer penalties called for hits on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton last weekend, but a couple of hits by defensive tackle Aaron Donald and linebacker Mark Barron had some people wondering if there should have been flags thrown.
After reviewing the hits, the NFL reportedly determined that neither hit was a clear violation although they found Barron’s came closer to the standard of forcible contact that would make it a foul. It wasn’t close enough to merit a fine, however.
PFT has confirmed with the league that neither Barron nor Donald were fined for their hits on Newton. Linebacker Alec Ogletree also avoided a fine for a play that ended with his knee coming down on Newton’s head.
Hits on Newton have been scrutinized since the opening week of the season and the scrutiny got closer in recent weeks after Newton and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about inconsistency in roughing the passer calls around the league.