Bill Feig/Associated Press
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered a knee injury during a playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card Round last weekend, and the NFL will reportedly take that into account when determining whether the team properly implemented the league's concussion protocol.
Adam Schefter of ESPN provided the update Saturday and noted the knee issue "was a contributing factor as to why Newton staggered to the ground and struggled to stay balanced" after he was hit in the head by Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata.
In December, the NFL announced changes to its concussion protocol, including the requirement that players who stumble or fall get evaluated in the locker room rather than the medical tent, except in cases of orthopedic injuries.
While a knee problem would merit such an exception, Newton made no reference to it following the game.
"I know it was precautionary concussion protocol things that happened, but it wasn't my head, it was my eye," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, Panthers interim general manager Marty Hurney told Joseph Person and Anna Douglas of the Charlotte Observer the organization "did everything the right way."
"He took a hit. 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. "And it was really getting poked in the eye. He took a knee because they told him to take a knee so we could get the official timeout and Derek could warm up."
The Seattle Seahawks were fined $100,000 in December for failing to properly utilize the concussion protocol for quarterback Russell Wilson during the team's Week 10 game against the Arizona Cardinals.
This news has been published by title Report: NFL To Consider Cam Newton\'s Knee Injury In Concussion Protocol Review
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