Panthers claiming Cam Newton had knee injury, not concussion

Cam Newton reportedly suffered knee injury in loss to Saints

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered a knee injury during a playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card Round last weekend, and the NFL will reportedly take that into account when determining whether the team properly implemented the league's concussion protocol. The NFL's enhanced concussion protocol requires players demonstrating vertical instability after a hit to the head to be taken to the locker room to be evaluated. The NFL learned about the injury while interviewing Panthers officials over the phone this week.

While a knee problem would fall into that category, Newton made no reference to it following the game, instead blaming the loss of balance on getting poked in the eye.

The new league policy that went into effect in late December mandates that players head to the locker room for more extensive testing when exhibiting symptoms related to a concussed state.

"He actually got poked in the eye", Rivera said.


Newton offered the same injury diagnosis as his coach at the time. According to a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter, however, the reason Newton stumbled may have been due to a knee injury and not necessarily a head injury.

Carolina interim general manager Marty Hurney said this week Newton was told to take a knee before reaching the sideline so backup quarterback Derek Anderson could get warmed up without the Panthers using a timeout. My helmet had came down low enough over my eyelid and it got pressed by the player's stomach I believe.

On the surface, that excuse seems like a hard one to believe, especially in light of how often the NFL's concussion protocol gets ignored for star players.

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