NFL Concludes Investigation Into Panthers Handling of Concussion Protocol with Cam Newton

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The NFL announced today that Carolina had properly followed the concussion protocol after in the Wildcard game versus the New Orleans Saints after Cam Newton went down to one knee after sustaining a hit to the head. The NFL also discouraged people from being armchair neurologists, urging "restraint among those who attempt to make medical diagnoses based upon the broadcast video alone."

The investigation verified much of what we have heard from Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Newton reported that he sustained an eye injury, he was instructed by the coaching staff to take a knee so as to provide additional time for Derek Anderson to warm up as he was checked out by the training staff. The situation was complicated by a minor knee injury that was bothering Newton.

The NFL concluded that the protocol had been properly followed by independent neurologists and that the medical staff had acted with an "abundance of caution." Newton, they contended, did not show "gross motor instability," citing that did not have trouble standing or jogging off the field after the hit. They further concluded that "at no time during the remainder of the game or after the game did Mr. Newton have concussion symptoms.

As Carolina's medical staff took every precaution, the NFL cautioned armchair neurologists from making diagnoses from their living room. "Evaluation for a concussion requires not only an analysis of the broadcast video but an examination performed by a medical team familiar with the player and the relevant medical history," the NFL concluded. Challenging the integrity and findings of a highly qualified medical staff assisted by an independent neurologist without any medical data is "irresponsible and not supported by the medical facts."

By Tony Dunn
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