The NFL says that medical personnel reviewed video of the hit on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton during the final minutes of Thursday's game against the Denver Broncos and "concluded there were no indications of a concussion that would require further evaluation and the removal of the player from the game."
With less than a minute to go in the game of Denver's 21–20 victory, Newton scrambled to the left out of the pocket and was hit in the head by Broncos safety Darian Stewart while throwing a pass. Stewart was flagged on the play for the helmet-to-helmet hit.
"There was communication between medical personnel on the Carolina sideline, including the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant, and the two independent certified athletic trainer spotters in the booth," the league said in a statement. "During stoppage in play while on-field officials were in the process of administrating penalties, the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and team physician requested video from the spotters and reviewed the play. They concluded there were no indications of a concussion that would require further evaluation and the removal of the player from the game."
Newton was hit several times during the game, but said the team did not lose the game because of the hard hits.
"It's not my place to question the officials," Newton said. "I really like the officiating crew. It wasn't something I know they did intentionally, but it's not fun getting hit in the head."
While Newton did not complain about the hits, several of his teammates did.
"Do you see them calling it?" Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis said. "Early in the game, a guy took two, three steps and hit him in the head and they didn't call a penalty. We've talked about it ad nauseam. It doesn't matter. They ain't going to change it."
"We'll see what some of those [helmet-to-helmet hits] look like," Panthers tight end Greg Olsen added. "Obviously, we got one of them, but we didn't get many yards off of it."
Newton's father, Cecil, spoke to ESPN about the hits on his son and said he was 'grossly disturb' watching the game.
“I think the culprit is the mere fact that they allowed the game to get out of control,” Cecil Newton said. “They allowed players to push the envelope to the very edge. That's my ultimate concern. Whether [league officials] want to go after them or not, fine. But I'm thinking about Cam Newton being healthy today, tomorrow and 25 or 35 years from now.”
- Scooby Axson