Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Knee injury contributed to Newton's fall after hit to head

Knee injury contributed to Newton's fall after hit to head

The Panthers also tweeted out that Newton had been evaluated for a concussion but was cleared.

The Panthers faced scrutiny about whether the team properly followed the concussion protocol after quarterback Cam Newton took a hit to the head in last Sunday's loss to the Saints, but it now appears there might be another fold to the story.

An offensive guard, Andrus Peat suffered a broken left fibula in the team's 31-26 Wild Card Round victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. However, Newton was only taken to the team's blue medical tent, not the locker room as new National Football League rules mandate. A source told ESPN that Newton would have been ready to play had the Panthers advanced to this weekend's NFC divisional playoff game.

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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In December, the National Football League announced changes to its concussion protocol, including forcing players who stumble or fall to get evaluated in the locker room rather than the medical tent, except in cases of orthopedic injuries.

Newton returned on the next series and threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Christian McCaffrey on the third play of the possession.

Trainers checked out Newton's knee a couple times during the game, although the injury will not require surgery, the source said.

"I know it was a precautionary concussion protocol thing that happened, but it wasn't my head, it was my eye", he said, per NFL Network's Tiffany Blackmon.

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