In the fourth quarter of the Panthers' wild-card game in New Orleans on Sunday, Cam Newton was drilled by defensive tackle David Onyemata, a sudden shot to the head that blindsided Newton, who was trying to escape other onrushers.
Newton dropped to the floor as he left the pitch for treatment, and the league wants assurances that concussion protocols were followed correctly. If he did indeed suffer a head injury, it would have required him to go to the locker to get examined by the team training staff to go through the concussion protocol.
What's at issue with Newton's hit is that he was not taken to the locker room for evaluation as the National Football League required when the protocol was revised this season.
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Coach Ron Rivera and general manager Mary Hurney said the Panthers followed the proper procedure, saying Newton had an eye injury and was not concussed.
The organisation stipulates that any player suspected of having concussion must be evaluated in the dressing room. Newton attempted to walk off the hit, but instead sat down on the field near Carolina's sideline and... He was replaced the next play, but as he made his way off the sideline he stubbled and needed help to get back up off the field. "We did everything the right way". The Panthers would find the end zone one more time, but it's what happened during the final seconds that has people talking about this game.
It was determined that proper safety guidelines were followed in that case.