NFL, NFLPA launch formal investigation of Panthers' handling of Cam Newton injury

NFL, NFLPA launch formal investigation of Panthers' handling of Cam Newton injury

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.

"We are in contact now with the Panthers' medical staff and we will not comment further until those conversations are completed", the National Football League said in a written statement issued through a spokesman.

Newton took a hard hit in the fourth quarter in which he claimed his helmet came down over his eyes and hurt his right eye.

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. "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".

Newton finished the game as the Panthers lost, 31-26, at the Superdome and saw their season end.

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

Leading up to the Week 13 game, Newton remarked on Jordan's fashion and joked he could "send him some sauce". A sideline concussion evaluation is not considered sufficient under those circumstances.

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Under recent modifications made to the NFL's procedures for evaluating and dealing with possible concussions suffered by players during games, any player who stumbles or falls must be taken to the locker room for evaluation.

Newton spent time on the ground after the hit.

Newton was evaluated in the medical tent on the Panthers' sideline.

It is the third incident this season known to have been formally investigated by the league and union under the policy they developed through a 2016 agreement, although they informally review every concussion evaluation.

"You beat the Carolina Panthers three times in a year, I'm going to have to send this guy a wine bottle, I appreciate him for being that good old quarterback", Jordan 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 that I think so highly of.

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

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