NFL officials to review if Panthers followed concussion protocol

Cam Newton

The Panthers are heading to New Orleans to face the Saints in the wild-card round of the National Football League playoffs.

The NFL said it was in contact with the Panthers medical staff. They will not comment further until those conversations are completed.

Newton stayed in for the rest of the game that saw him throw a 56-yard touchdown pass to rookie running back Christian McCaffrey on the third play after he returned.

Newton took a shot to the head from Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata midway through the fourth quarter.

According to Fox Sports' Chris Myers on the broadcast, Newton's visor poked him in the eye, a odd explanation following a crushing blow.

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The Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000, and the team's coaching and medical staffs were required to attend medical training regarding the concussion protocol, after a joint review determined the club did not properly evaluate quarterback Russell Wilson following a hard tackle during a November 9 game against Arizona.

The NFL revised the concussion protocol after Houston Texans QB Tom Savage was let back into a game following a hit that left him shaking on the ground, though the Texans were not fined.

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. At the same time, there was also another more egregious incident on December 29 concerning Tom Savage after he showed obvious concussion-like symptoms, but the league did not charge the Texans for any violations.

The league is now looking into the situation, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

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