Cameron Jordan mocks Cam Newton, Matt Kalil after victory

Arnold Nichols
January 9, 2018

Interim general manager Marty Hurney insists the Carolina Panthers handled the medical treatment of quarterback Cam Newton "the right way" during Sunday's 31-26 playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The NFL's new concussion protocol, implemented on December 11, included the notice that the league will '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)'.

The 28-year-old was assessed at pitchside - and the Panthers said on their Twitter account he was "evaluated for a concussion and cleared".

But that price is a pittance for a multi-billion-dollar franchise, so the question of whether the punishment for clubs found to be guilty of not following the rules could become an offseason topic of debate. Newton attempted to walk off the hit, but instead sat down on the field near Carolina's sideline and... Rivera said Newton had been told to drop to a knee to give backup quarterback Derek Anderson, who replaced Newton for that one play, time to warm up on the sideline.

The Bills had not featured in the play-offs since losing 22-16 at this stage in 1999, and had not reached the divisional round since 1995.

This is not the first time the Panthers' handling of Newton has come under scrutiny. "If he passes all phases of this exam and is cleared by the UNC (unaffiliated neurological consultant) and the team MD in charge of concussion care, then the player could return to the game".

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

The changes came in conjunction with a decision not to punish the Houston Texans for their handling of a concussion suffered by quarterback Tom Savage.

Newton echoed Rivera's assessment that he was poked in the eye.

Newton said after the game Sunday that "precautionary concussion protocol things" happened, but "it wasn't my head".

"I've just got to be better", Newton said. 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 I think highly of", Newton said.

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

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