NFL, NFLPA to review how Panthers handled hit on QB Newton

NFL, NFLPA to review how Panthers handled hit on QB Newton

The NFL and NFL Players Association are conducting a joint review into how the Carolina Panthers handled the concussion protocol as it related to a fourth-quarter hit on quarterback Cam Newton in Sunday's NFC playoff loss at New Orleans.

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. Medical personnel looked at him as a he took a seat, and Newton missed one play as Derek Anderson relieved him.

Newton took a shot to the head from Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata midway through the fourth quarter.

The 28-year-old was assessed at pitchside - and the Panthers said on their Twitter account he was "evaluated for a concussion and cleared". Yet, a few yards from the sideline, he stopped and collapsed to the ground, going on all fours and staring at the ground.

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There is little margin for error for determination with head injuries as it has been at the forefront of scrutiny by the National Football League over the last several years. "He actually got poked in the eye", Rivera said.

The league is now looking into the situation, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

The Panthers could be fined as much as $150,000 if the investigation finds they didn't properly follow the league's concussion protocol.

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