Carolina Panthers Wiretap

NFL, NFLPA Issues Statement On Cam Newton's Concussion Protocol Probe

Oct 19, 2016 4:52 PM

The NFL and NFL Players Association have issued a joint statement on the investigation into whether proper protocol was followed after Cam Newton suffered a hit to the head on Sept. 8 against the Denver Broncos.

The statement read as follows:

The NFL and NFLPA have conducted reviews of the application of the Concussion Protocol in the September 8th Panthers-Broncos game and have determined the following. In the fourth quarter, Mr. Newton incurred a helmet-to-helmet hit which drew a penalty. Mr. Newton was slow to get up following that hit. The Panthers medical staff and the Unaffiliated Neuro-trauma Consultant (UNC) were positioned together on the sidelines monitoring the game and were unable to see the point of contact and decided to review the play via the sideline video replay system. In order to facilitate the video review, the team physician and UNC initiated radio contact with the Booth ATC and asked to view the video. Under the current application of the Protocol, once contact between the Booth ATC and the club's medical team occurs, the Booth ATC's responsibilities end (including the ability to call a medical time out). The time it took to actually receive the video following this request was prolonged due to a technology glitch. After reviewing the replay and observing Mr. Newton from the sideline, the Panthers' medical staff and the UNC agreed that no further evaluation of Mr. Newton was necessary as they did not observe signs or symptoms of concussion.

The parties also conducted a review of the application of the Protocol in the September 15th Bills-Jets game. That review showed Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor sustain a big hit that included helmet-to-helmet contact. Mr. Taylor seemed to be unsteady on his feet. Prior to any actions by the club physician, Booth ATC Spotter and/or UNC, referee Ed Hochuli directed Mr. Taylor to the sideline for the required sideline examination. The club medical team and UNC reviewed the video and conducted the required examination, cleared Mr. Taylor and returned him to the game.

Collaboration between the Team Physician and the UNC, who is jointly appointed by the parties, is a critical aspect of the Concussion Protocol and therefore bears emphasis. In both instances, the reviews of the NFL and NFLPA determined that the club physicians and UNCs worked closely together to review the plays at issue and jointly made medical determinations regarding evaluation and diagnosis; in each instance, the medical determination made revealed that neither player had sustained a concussion. The Team Physicians and UNCs involved in each instance worked closely together to provide medical care for the players involved and their team work should be emulated across the League. Similarly, Mr. Hochuli's decision to send Mr. Taylor to the sideline for evaluation after spotting an observable sign of possible concussion, demonstrates a conservative and therefore appropriate application of the Concussion Protocol.

The NFL and NFLPA, in conjunction with our medical advisors and the NFL Physicians Society, have also taken several steps to further clarify and enhance the Concussion Protocol in an effort to ensure that it is being applied uniformly in all NFL games and that everyone involved in its application understands their roles and responsibilities. Some of the agreed upon enhancements are set forth below.

The Concussion Protocol has been adopted by the parties in order to establish a conservative standard of care and ensure that competitive considerations do not influence healthcare outcomes. The objective of this Protocol is to provide medical staffs responsible for the care of NFL players with a standardized process for identifying and managing potential concussion. The parties recognize that concussion diagnosis and management is often a difficult and complex exercise, compounded by hectic game conditions. Accurate diagnosis and management of concussion requires experienced physicians coordinating with others on the sideline and within the field of play, each acutely aware of his or her responsibilities and all committed to the strict application of the policies implemented in order to protect players.


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Cam Newton Walks Out During Press Conference After Loss

Oct 17, 2016 8:41 AM

Cam Newton's press conference with reporters lasted just 90 seconds after the Carolina Panthers lost an overtime thriller to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday afternoon.

Newton spent most of his time at the podium staring at the floor or straight in front of him.

"Just doing what I'm asked to do," Newton said when asked why he didn't carry the ball or run as much as usual.

The Panthers are now 1-5 after losing in the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos.

Conor Orr/NFL

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Cam Newton Cleared To Start Week 6

Oct 15, 2016 8:04 PM

Cam Newton has been cleared from the concussion protocol and will start on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Newton was a full participant in practice both Thursday and Friday.

Newton missed his third career start on Monday night when the Panthers suffered a 17-14 loss to Tampa Bay that dropped their record to 1-4.

Mike Shula said there will be no restrictions on Newton as a dual-threat quarterback.

"That's his game," Shula said on Thursday. "We will look at him and talk about it, but part of his game and what makes him so good is that."

David Newton/ESPN

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Panthers Won't Limit Cam Newton's Running

Oct 14, 2016 7:48 AM

The Carolina Panthers have no plans to limit Cam Newton's running once he gets final clearance through the concussion protocol.

"That's his game," Mike Shula said. "We'll look at it and we'll talk about it, but part of his game and what makes him so good is that."

After taking a head shot against the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago, Newton missed Monday night's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"We'll play our offensive accordingly," Ron Rivera said. "Depends on the situations, circumstances, calls, plays, reads. The quarterback's going to play the game the way he plays the game. That's one thing about Cam Newton. We can call a play and he can drop back and take off running on his own.

"So we're going to play our offense accordingly."

Black And Blue Review

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NFL Changes Start Times For Two Week 8 Games

Oct 12, 2016 4:10 PM

The NFL has announced changes to the start times for a pair of Week 8 games on Sunday, Oct. 30.

The Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons game will kick off at 4:25 p.m. ET (previously scheduled at 1 p.m.) on FOX, while the Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers game moves to 1:00 p.m. ET (originally scheduled for 4:25 p.m.) on FOX.


Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Green Bay Packers

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Cam Newton Returns To Practice, Expected To Start In Week 6

Oct 12, 2016 2:36 PM

Cam Newton returned to practice on Wednesday and is on track to start in Week 6.

Newton missed Week 5 due to a concussion.

Newton is 77 for 133 for 974 yards passing with six touchdowns against five interceptions while also rushing for two touchdowns.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

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Ron Rivera: Panthers Need To Play More Disciplined

Oct 12, 2016 9:03 AM

The Carolina Panthers are a disappointing 1-4 through five games and Ron Rivera believes some of the team's players are simply trying to make big plays.

"Some of our guys that didn't play well, they played hard, but in some cases too hard, trying to make plays and trying to do things that aren’t their job. Because of that, we made a few more errors," Rivera said of Carolina's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

"We're pressing. There's a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations, and these are things that we have to make sure we understand. Take care of your job first."

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

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Cam Newton's Inner Circle Urging Him To Play More Safely

Oct 9, 2016 3:29 PM

Members of Cam Newton's inner circle have advised him to play more carefully moving forward to avoid injury.

Newton suffered a concussion during the fourth quarter of last week's loss as he approached the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt.

Newton took a similar shot going into the end zone against the Saints last season. 

Newton is being urged to get down, out of bounds or into the end zone quicker to protect himself.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

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Panthers Rule Out Cam Newton For Week 5 With Concussion

Oct 8, 2016 4:36 PM

The Carolina Panthers have ruled out Cam Newton for Week 5 with a concussion.

Derek Anderson will start for the Panthers in place of Newton.

"We're going to do what we do, play who we play," said Ron Rivera on Saturday.

"We've done this before. It's that next man up mentality. We've done it before.''

Rivera had no update on Newton's status in the concussion protocol other than "he's progressing."

David Newton/ESPN

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Cam Newton Remains In Concussion Protocol

Oct 6, 2016 5:10 PM

Cam Newton's status for Monday night's game is in question as he remains in the NFL's concussion protocol.

Newton suffered a concussion in the second-half of Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

The Carolina Panthers would start Derek Anderson against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 5 if Newton is unable to play.

Anderson hasn't started a game since 2014.

Kevin Patra/NFL

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