On October 2, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton received a hard blow to the head while scoring a two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons. After the play Newton was taken to the sideline, evaluated for a concussion, and returned to the game. Although Newton returned, Carolina lost to Atlanta 48-33. Since that game the concussion policy in the NFL has been modified and now there’s a neurologist that will sit in the booth at all games and make calls to the sideline officials. This person will assist with making the call if the player should return to the game or not.
In July of 2011 73 former professional football players sued the NFL and Riddle INC. The players alleged that the NFL failed to take reasonable action to protect them from chronic risk of head injuries. Riddle INC. is responsible for creating equipment for the NFL and the players felt that they made defective helmets. In August of 2013 the NFL came to an agreement and settled at $765 million to fund medical exams and compensation for players. Starting in 2002 there have been nine huge stories about retired NFL players that have committed suicide cause by CTE due to sustaining concussions in the league. There have been many families taking advantage of the class action lawsuit, including the family of Junior Seau former NFL Hall of Famer. Seau’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL in 2013 after his brain was examined and ruled CTE as the reason for his mental issues leading to suicide.
There have been 645 total concussions reported in the NFL as of the 2012 season. The wide receiver position and the cornerback position are the two that sustain the most each year:
So far during this 2016 NFL season, Newton has taken at least three hard hits to the head. He was knocked out on the field for at-least 30 seconds after taken at hit to the head during the season opener against the Denver Broncos. During that game Newton was taken off the field, evaluated and returned to the game. “I didn’t see him. I felt like I got sucker-punched,” Newton explained. “I was trying to brace for the hit and before I could, it was just… bam – it happened,” was his response to being hit during the two-point conversion in the Falcons game. He claims that he was not so quick to speak out about his experience that day because of his son. Newton plan is to take his life and career more serious especially when it comes to the plays that he decides to become a runner, not only for him but also his family.
The NFL is known to be a physical sport, there are injuries that will occur and the players do everything they can to stay healthy. Concussions have been an issue in the NFL for quite some time now, and in this 2016 season Cam Newton experiencing his first one, thinks that it’s something he will never forget.
November 5, 2016