NFL, NFLPA launch joint review of Cam Newton concussion protocol

Cam Newton crumples trying to leave field in scary scene

The Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 by the NFL last month for their handling of a concussion evaluation of quarterback Russell Wilson after the league and players' union determined that the protocols had not been followed properly in that case.

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.

After New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan produced a sack in the third quarter of Sunday's playoff victory, he began shouting at the Carolina Panthers offensive line.

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Newton was clearly shaken up, and as he walked toward the Panthers' sideline, he fell to his knees. He sat out one play, but returned on the next series and finished the game. And when told that Newton's outfit was actually called a romper, Jordan replied, "The romp-him?"

The organisation stipulates that any player suspected of having concussion must be evaluated in the dressing room. But in revisions to its concussion policy announced December 29, the National Football League said it would "require a locker room concussion evaluation for all players demonstrating gross or sustained vertical instability (e.g., stumbling or falling to the ground when trying to stand)".

"Based on what the young man (Newton) said to me, that is what I believe happened", Rivera said.

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The Panthers' handling Sunday of Newton's injury drew criticism by Chris Nowinski, the founding CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. Hurney said, "We did everything right", when asked about Newton's treatment. Although Newton had eight carries for 37 yards, he threw the ball 40 times, and the Saints feel better about him throwing than running. He said after the game the issue was with his eye, not his head. But again, I'm not the doctor. We saw him rock back and forth. I hate that I couldn't do enough to get a win today for a lot of guys that I think so highly of.

"Yeah, you know, Carolina picked him up so the brothers could reunite", Jordan said.

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