Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said he didn’t dive on the ball after he fumbled in Sunday’s Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos because he didn’t want to risk injury, reports The Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person.
Newton, who fumbled with four minutes left in the fourth quarter with the Panthers trailing by six, appeared to pull up instead of attempting to enter the scrum after the fallen ball.
“I don’t dive on one fumble because the way my leg was—it could have been [contorted] in a way,” Newton said. “OK, you say my effort. I didn’t dive down. I fumbled. That’s fine. But we didn’t lose that game because of that fumble. I can tell you that.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday that he hadn’t talked with Newton about not diving on the fumble, adding, “If that’s his explanation, that’s his explanation.”
The Panthers fell to the Broncos 24–10, as Newton completed just 18 of 41 passes and was sacked six times while also throwing an interception and fumbling twice.