NFL to consider knee injury during concussion protocol investigation

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According to the policy, if the protocol was not properly followed, the team is subject to discipline.

Naturally, the Panthers claiming that Newton's lack of balance was caused by a knee injury and not a concussion would provide an alibi for not sending him to the locker room for evaluations. I talked to him two days ago.

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton is a big guy and one of the bigger quarterbacks in the NFL.

Losing to the Saints was a rough way to end the season for the Panthers and their franchise quarterback, Cam Newton.

If the National Football League determines that protocol was violated, the Panthers could face a penalty.

The review took more than a month to conclude. However, Newton was only taken to the team's blue medical tent, not the locker room as new National Football League rules mandate.

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According to the revised rule, a player is required to go to the locker room for evaluation if he is found to demonstrate "gross or sustained vertical instability (e.g., stumbling or falling to the ground when trying to stand)".

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. National Football League concussion protocol requires removing players from the field and an examination in the locker room.

"But when he walked off and he told the trainers he got poked in the eye, then they did take him into the tent and checked him for a concussion, which he did not have", Hurney said.

Newton was also poked in the eye during the fourth quarter of Sunday's 31-26 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC wild-card game. Hopefully they'll get the pieces around him to be successful.

It was determined that proper safety guidelines were followed in that case. The league and players' union conducted probes previous year after Newton took a hard hit to the head late in the season opener at Denver but did not come out of the game.

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