Quarterback Newton suffers first documented career concussion

Sun Oct 2, 2016 7:31pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Cam Newton has been hit hard plenty of times inside the pocket and out, and his running ability is one of the quarterback's strengths.

The NFL most valuable player in 2015 was hit hard enough, though, on Sunday to suffer the first documented concussion of his pro career for the Carolina Panthers.

Newton didn't see it coming.

Running for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter of the Panthers' 48-33 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, the former Heisman Trophy winner was rocked by rookie linebacker Deion Jones.

Newton, who was called for taunting on the first play of the game, appeared to be coming into a celebration a little too soon and had little idea where Jones was.

Newton, feeling the helmet-to-helmet hit, was taken to the dressing room for evaluation and declared out with a concussion. He will have to clear the protocol to be allowed to play against Tampa Bay on Oct. 10.

Coach Ron Rivera wouldn't shed any light on Newton's status after the loss to the Falcons.

"All I know is they took him in to examine him," Rivera said. "I purposely didn't ask (more) so I didn't have to answer (questions). I don't have any answers."

Newton didn't talk to the media after the game. Players under the NFL concussion protocol aren't allowed to play until cleared.   Continued...

Oct 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks off of the field after getting injured in the fourth quarter of their game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 48-33. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports