Panthers admit Cam Newton embellished injury to buy time

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There’s a strange subplot to the question of whether the Panthers failed to properly conduct a concussion evaluation after quarterback Cam Newton took a blow to the head and then stumbled to the ground while exiting the field in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Saints. According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers now admit that Newton was embellishing whatever injury he had, in order to give backup Derek Anderson time to loosen up.

It’s a stunning admission, with the Panthers consciously picking the lesser of two evils. In lieu of admitting that Newton ended up on his knees because he was unable to finish his left-foot-right-foot path to the sideline, the Panthers are essentially admitting that they gamed the system, ordering Newton to pretend he was hurt more than he was so that Anderson could become more ready than he would have been.

Sorry, Panthers, but that’s the risk of operating under false pretenses. When you deliberately play make believe, there’s a chance someone will believe you. And if Newton’s manifestation of symptoms was to be believed, the recent adjustments to the concussion protocol mandated a locker-room concussion evaluation, not a quick and perfunctory “how many fingers?” exercise in the blue medical tent.

So that should be a lesson to all other teams: If you’re going to tell your starting quarterback to flop after getting banged up in order to give his backup a chance to not flop while playing, the price you’ll pay is waiting for the starting quarterback to be cleared via a concussion evaluation performed in the locker room.

81 responses to “Panthers admit Cam Newton embellished injury to buy time

  1. I am so glad Cam Newton is out of it. He’s an insufferable egomaniac and annoys the heck out of me.

  2. No one cares. It’s the playoffs, if you can play then you play. Defenders are trying hard enough to knock guys out, they don’t need any help from “independent evaluators.”

  3. Not much of an admission considering it’s what every objective observer already knew and would have been found out pretty quickly even by the league’s Keystone Cop type investigators.

  4. Don’t players go down all the time when injured even if they could get off? The trainer comes out and talks for a moment and then they all walk off together.
    I assumed coaches tell players to go down so the ref stops the game.

  5. I saw Jeff Saturday say on ESPN immediately after the game he believed that the sideline was likely yelling for Cam to get down to give Anderson time to warm up. He said it happens all the time.

  6. So, where is the $1,000,000 fine, a loss of a 1st and a 4th, a 4 game suspension for Cam Newton, and a condescending lecture about “the integrity of the game?” Oh, it’s not happening. I didn’t think so.

  7. Cam should stick to his commercials, he’s much better at acting then winning football games.

  8. Every time I watch a Panthers game I see Cam either embellish an injury or embellish a flop after someone brushes up against him. It’s enbarrassing. They should really start fining him for that garbage.

  9. This is what they’re saying to avoid a much worse discipline from the league. Cam’s pupils were as big as saucers when he headed to the sideline – a telltale sign of a concussion. And by the way, if his eye got poked the way he said it did, his eye would have been red or bloodshot. It wasn’t. And he was squinting BOTH eyes – another telltale sign of a concussion.

    This whole situation stinks and the Panthers have already violated concussion protocol on more than one occasion.

  10. I don’t think Cam thinks to himself “ I will stumble AND wince my eye.” This may have been a pre-planned strategy, but I think it is much more likely they radioed it to him over the coach to QB radio.

    SAFETY rules are important for protecting health, well-being, and life. This is skirting those rules to the highest order and should be severely punished.


  11. Your either-or choice is false. The team needn’t have known he was milking it until it was over there by precluding their complicity.

  12. Look at the replay, he didn’t get poked in the eye! Cam got his bell rung and then flopped after their staff told him to go down. Total bs. They didnt follow concussion protocol and then delayed the game when he was fully able to run off the field. Not okay by any means – the team needs to be punished like everyone else for endangering cam and then not following its own procedures. btw if any of you ever got hit hard your eyes wince in pain – its a natural reaction. there werent any ghost fingers near cams eyes and can penetrate his helmet visor.

  13. This is the same guy who cries all the time that the officials don’t protect him enough.

    Hey Cam — when you cry wolf all the time, you’re bound to get eaten at some point by a real wolf.

  14. goawayeverybody He WAS checked for concussion in the blue tent and CLEARED. If there was an issue, it was with the NFL doctor who cleared him. I don’t know what you say you didn’t see, but there was a red mark on his left eye socket and a replay showed tge broken mask going to the eye area. Rivera told him to go down because he was injured and he wanted to make sure the refs knew it so they would give time for a few warm up throws by Anderdon. Just like they always do when a QB leaves a game due to injury. No cheating there.

  15. Cam Cheating – there is not an honest bone in his body – violated college honor code twice by submitting paper not written by him and then ends up with a stolen laptop and then tries to stash it when the police arrive.

    Cam Cheating – the poster boy of what is wrong with today’s athletes – dishonest, mouthy, unsportsmanlike, fake, and stupid.

  16. If that “collapse” nearing the sideline is the best attempt at acting Newton can serve up, he’d better hope for a long career in football because he has no future in show business.

  17. They had no choice but to fake it since current NFL rules says the game goes on without him. CHANGE THE RULE so the game stops while they examine him.

  18. Crap like this is part of why ratings are down. Speaking of which. man did you see how far down the playoff ratings are? What a nightmare for the nfl.

  19. I show my kids cam when he is winning, and when he is losing. Then I show them, Brady, Wilson, Smith, and well pretty much every other QB when they win/lose… They call him a pouty weakling. A ten year old can best explain cammy.

  20. As if it wasn’t obvious. It wasn’t the first time Cam flopped. He lays on the ground acting like he’s half dead, trying to get the ref’s sympathy. It’s funny how the concussion tests never come back positive. Better hope the new owner wants a mediocre QB, or he’s long gone.

  21. There should be serious consequences for this situation – Cam Cheating should be suspended for four games, the head coach the same time, forfeit a first round draft choice, and fine the team $500,000.

    This is a serious situation that is disgusting – fabricating player health situation and then not doing a serious concussion protocol.

    The NFL needs to slam this disgusting franchise.

  22. Another example that the entire concussion process is an out and out farce that is manipulated weekly. Either take it out of the hands of the teams or stop it.

  23. goawayeverybody says:
    January 8, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    This is what they’re saying to avoid a much worse discipline from the league. Cam’s pupils were as big as saucers when he headed to the sideline – a telltale sign of a concussion. And by the way, if his eye got poked the way he said it did, his eye would have been red or bloodshot. It wasn’t. And he was squinting BOTH eyes – another telltale sign of a concussion.

    This whole situation stinks and the Panthers have already violated concussion protocol on more than one occasion.
    Are you surprised that a guy wanted to stay on the field in the final drive of a playoff game? And you think he or the team are going to voluntary remove him? The league’s concussion protocol may be medically sound, but the idea that teams will err on the side of caution is just not realistic.

  24. Everyone does it but usually not that bad. Usually when a QB goes down he stays down a long time even thought he could of gotten up much earlier to give the Back up time to warm up.

    I remember years ago when T Jackson was hurt and he almost cmae running off the field. Everyone on the sideline was so mad at him for not giving Joe WEbb enough time to warm up.

    What he should of done when he realized he was getting off too soon is just stop and work with the eye while standing there. I mean who wants to work with their eye and walk at the same time. Oh and bring in 3 guys to look at it too.

  25. It’s official in my book. The nominees for NFL Drama Queen are Big Ben for off the field/off season drama master. Cam for on the field Drama Queen. Looks like it could be a tie.

  26. Oh and he’s big enough to take hits with no flags remember?

    Looks like he’s mortal to me.

    Lol. Have a nice summer in kryptonite yaght club

  27. Even though everyone who watches football on a regular basis knew that’s what was going on, the optics of the whole situation where really bad. Just treat it like a relief pitcher, go to commercial break and let the backup warm up for a couple minutes; the game is likely going to commercial break in the next couple minutes anyway.

  28. They seriously need to change the rules when it comes to quarterbacks. Losing one for even 1 play because a ref or someone else puts them in “protocol” can cost a game. At what point will it happen in the Super Bowl?

    At the very least they ought to have some sort of warming up period for the back up like a reliever in baseball.

  29. Even if a player does not go down or show symptom’s of a concussion the league can still ask for a concussion test based on how and where the player gets hit. A good example of this was Alvin Kamara in the first Atlanta game. He took a big hit to the head and based on the position in which he was hit and his body language they pulled him, he did not fall down or stumble, he did shake his head some that was it. Cam took a big shot to the head and after he fell his hands clinched up and he was squinting his left eye…left eye watch the tape. We all seen the rest right, but did anyone else notice he was icing his right eye on the side line? My guess is that he did suffer a mild concussion, I have seen people play just fine after a concussion the the next day not remember finishing the game and that is why they don’t let the player or the team decide if a player is concussed. So that being said if Cam did or did not have a concussion is irrelevant, he was hit hard in the head, he went down therefore he meet the criteria for a concussion protocol. If he mad it look worse or not is also not relevant as far as him being allowed to continue to play based off of the NFL concussion rules. As much as I hate to say it there should be a precedence set here and they should loose a draft pick. I don’t say this to hurt the Panthers organization but to protect the players.

    I seen a post above regarding players going down all the time when injured and I would agree to this 100%. The difference is that those players aren’t going down due to a blow to head, the medical staff upstairs watches the body positon and where the contact was made. Example is Andrus Peat getting his leg rolled up on, they didn’t take him to do a concussion protocol, his injury was his leg. Basically they have assigned personnel at each game to make a judgement call based on their knowleged and exspertise.

  30. Seems that the Panthers and Cam deserve each other. Panthers gamed the system for the Wildcard and Cam gamed the system at Auburn. A match made in hell.

  31. Willie Mcginest did that against the Colts way back when. He came in again and made a4th down goal stand two plays later.

    Good times!

  32. Sow what? Teams do this ALL a the time. It’s part of the game. Please don’t tell me people are just niave in thinking they don’t…….

  33. I don’t usually subscribe to body language interpretations as rationale for criticizing players. I have to admit, when Newton delays his exit from the huddle and stays on the ground for an extra second or two it bugs me. There seems to be a conscious effort to be too cool. I simply believe that all effort should be concentrated on the task at hand.

  34. Much to do about nothing. Qbs, and other players, often stay on ground longer than needed so that back ups and coaches could prepare for next play. In Newton’s case, why did he get up in the first place if he new he was leaving field? Pretty stupid if this was what it was about–which it was not.

  35. COVER UP, plain and simple. First the narative was about the “poke in the eye”, now it is double down time with the “he wasn’t hurt as bad as it appeared when he was wobbling as if inflicted with Vertigo. What will the independent sideline neuro say in deposition?

  36. If that was Brady Goodell would take away a draft pick
    Even worse if it were Brees, Coach Payton would be suspended for the entire 2018 season

  37. Why not have the backup QB just stay warmed up by throwing passes during TV timeouts just like the starters do?

  38. Newton got his head jarred really hard on that play. If the Panthers aren’t careful w/ him & Kuechly, both will be sipping lemonade on a porch together before they’re 35 yrs old.

  39. Nobody likes what happened, but what the League has to do now is to recognize a harsh reality: because the concussion rule now says they have to go to the locker room, teams are going to pull all kinds of shenanigans to avoid that. The penalties aren’t bad or certain enough to thwart that, either.

    When a rule sets up perverse incentives and punishment isn’t swift and sure enough, then you have to just face reality and change the way the rule works. On-field evaluation seems like the first necessary change. And if the League is serious about concussions, then they’re likely going to have to take most or all of this out of the hands of teams.

  40. jackedupboonie says:
    January 8, 2018 at 10:22 pm
    Why does baseball allow time for a relief pitcher to warm up in event of a In game pitcher injury…..but football doesn’t?
    B/C there’s no clock in baseball

  41. If you see a player hurt coming to the sideline then go down on one knee 90% of the time it’s because the coaches on the sideline signal for him to go down so the backup can get ready. No story here.

  42. What the hell are backup QBs doing during the game that they need all this time to warm-up? It’s not like they’re sitting there eating hot dogs, drinking beer, and chatting up the cheerleaders – they warmed up pre-game and can easily be throwing or stretching during the game. Also, does them taking 2-3 practice throws before heading into the game really make that much of a difference? They’re backups for a reason…

  43. The irony is this Marty Hurney’s team… the same baby who cried about the Patriots “Culture of Cheating” after the Panthers lost fair & square in their first trip to the ‘Bowl. This exemplifies why the rest of the country is nothing but a complete & total joke that can never be taken seriously. What a fraud

  44. I don’t get to see every Panther game, thank God, but I’ve seen a few and I’ve never seen that egomaniac kneel when the huddle breaks on almost every play while the team rushes to the line. It seemed like he was saying, “Look at me, I’m the leader here and the greatest of all time.” It struck me as odd in the first quarter and he kept it up all game.

    The guy’s just weird.

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