NFL Looking Into Panthers' Handling Of Cam's Protocol

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The NFL and the NFL Players Association are opening an investigation into whether the Carolina Panthers properly followed the league's concussion protocol for quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday.

The quarterback took a heavy hit to the head from Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata midway through the fourth quarter, with the game still in the balance. The Panthers punted after Anderson's incomplete pass on third down, and Newton appeared to be quickly cleared to play again following tests by the team's medical staff.

Newton missed only one offensive play after he was evaluated in the medical tent on the Panthers sideline and cleared to play. He led a touchdown march that got Carolina within one score, but their next and final possession ended with a turnover on downs.

The Panthers' handling Sunday of Newton's injury drew criticism by Chris Nowinski, the founding CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. 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.

"He took a knee because they told him to take a knee so we could get the official timeout and Derek [Anderson] could warm up, " Hurney said when explaining why Newton went to the ground while coming off the field.

However, the question could become whether or not Newton should have been taken to the locker room for evaluations.

Panthers Coach Ron Rivera and Newton said after the game that the issue was that the player had been hit in the eye.

But the inquest into how the Panthers handled what looked like a head injury to Cam Newton is just beginning. He was seen on the sidelines with ice on his eye and claimed a visor poked him in the eye, which is why he went down.

Rivera did not believe Newton had not demonstrated any post-concussion symptoms Monday.

Jordan said the hit that Newton absorbed was significant. After the Week 3 game, Jordan made some jokes about Newton's fashion choices. "We wanted [Newton] to sit down to give [Anderson] a chance to warm up", Rivera said. "We're going to send him a nice little bottle of Jordan wine".

"I don't think so".

"Carolina picked him, so the brothers could reunite", Jordan said.