Panthers Facing Questions About Cam Newton's Quick Return

NFL playoffs: Titans-Chiefs, Falcons-Rams kick off wild-card weekend

Ultimately, Jordan does have a lot of respect for Newton, who is one of the hardest quarterbacks in the National Football League to corral, although the Saints star sacked him once on Sunday, batted down two passes, forced a pivotal intentional grounding penalty and helped Vonn Bell clean up Newton on the game's final play.

After Newton got to his feet, he jogged toward the sideline, but later crumpled to the ground, with a team staff member assisting him off the field.

NFL Players Association and NFL on Monday jointly launched a formal investigation of the injury suffered by Cam Newton and its handling by Carolina Panthers.

"When he has time, he's going to find players downfield", Carolina head coach Ron Rivera said.

What's at issue with Newton's hit is that he was not taken to the locker room for evaluation as the National Football League required when the protocol was revised this season. "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. "I thought that maybe somebody had stuck a finger in my eye".

His touchdown passes of 80 yards to Ted Ginn and 9-yards to tight end Josh Hill helped New Orleans open up a 21-6 lead late in the first half.

Saints 38-year-old quarterback Drew Brees proved he's still one of the best around after passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

With the Panthers in position for their first lead, Newton was called for intentional grounding, which cost 13 yards, a loss of down and a 10-second runoff. We always believed the Saints still had a shot every game because they had Drew Brees and nobody else did.

NFL playoffs: Titans-Chiefs, Falcons-Rams kick off wild-card weekend
NFL Today, Wild-Card Playoffs

"It's better to hold them to three than six", Bell said.

"I didn't know he was a fan of my dress code", Newton said Wednesday when I asked him about Jordan's criticism.

"You can't be more happy about the way we played in terms of how we finished", said Jordan, the All-Pro defensive end. And I think what we've proved is that we can beat you in a lot of different ways.

The Saints may have taken a sledge hammer to the exhausted sports cliché, "It's hard to beat a team three times in one year" but they showed it's incredibly difficult to beat a team three times the exact same way. We've got talented guys on this team at receiver, at running back and on the line. According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers now admit that Newton was embellishing whatever injury he had, in order to give backup Derek Anderson time to loosen up.

That win in the wildcard round has set up a divisional round game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

"If a team is going to do that, then I feel like with the matchups we have outside that there should be opportunities, ' Brees said".

All that was hanging over Newton late Sunday when he dropped back to pass one last time, a season behind him and only uncertainty in front of him.

Meanwhile, many in the sports world came down on the Panthers for allowing Newton back into the game so quickly.

Blue Jays, 3B Donaldson reach record $23M arbitration deal
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