Cam Newton: NFL asks for explanation over Carolina Panthers treatment
The NFL has asked the Carolina Panthers to explain their handling of quarterback Cam Newton, who was cleared to return after taking a bang on the head during Sunday’s wildcard play-off loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Newton dropped to the floor as he left the pitch for treatment, and the league wants assurances that concussion protocols were followed correctly.
The 28-year-old was assessed at pitchside – and the Panthers said on their Twitter account he was “evaluated for a concussion and cleared”.
The NFL said it was in contact with the Panthers medical staff.
The organisation stipulates that any player suspected of having concussion must be evaluated in the dressing room.
Newton and coach Ron Rivera both said after the game, which the Panthers lost 31-26, that the player was checked over after he was hit in the eye, not because of a concussion.
And Rivera said in a news conference that Newton was told to sit down as he came off the pitch to give his replacement an opportunity to warm up.
Elsewhere, the Buffalo Bills returned to post-season action with a 10-3 defeat by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the wildcard round.
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.