NFL, union launch joint review of Panthers' handling of Cam Newton injury

NFL, union launch joint review of Panthers' handling of Cam Newton injury

After New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan produced a sack in the third quarter of Sunday's playoff victory, he began shouting at the Carolina Panthers offensive line.

But the Panthers' announced Newton instead was tested for a concussion in the blue sideline tent, cleared and permitted to return to the game. - after missing only one play.

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. Any player showing "gross or sustained vertical instability" following a hit is now required to be evaluated for a concussion in the locker room, according to the NFL's updated concussion protocol.

Newton was slow to get up and collapsed on his way back to the sideline.

The league and the players union changed its concussion protocol last month after Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage returned to the field after having a concussion that left the quarterback's hands shaking after a hit. "According to the policy developed by the National Football League and NFLPA, if the Concussion Protocol is not properly followed the club is subject to discipline".

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

"Based on what the young man (Newton) said to me, that is what I believe happened", Rivera said. Although Newton had eight carries for 37 yards, he threw the ball 40 times, and the Saints feel better about him throwing than running.

"My helmet had come down low enough over my eyelid and it got pressed by the player's stomach".

This isn't the first time the Panthers have been investigated for how it has handled the protocol. He was surprised to see Newton return to the game, he said. "And again, from that point on I don't think anything else needs to be said about it". "I appreciate him for being that good ol' quarterback".

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

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