New York (AFP) - The National Football League said it is looking into the response by medical personnel to multiple blows to the head suffered by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in a season-opening loss at Denver.
Broncos players admitted after the 21-20 victory that hard hits delivered to last year's NFL Most Valuable Player were key to Denver's defensive game plan.
Newton's father Cecil said his family was "grossly disturbed" by the repeated hits to the helmet Newton absorbed.
It was a helmet-to-helmet hit initiated by Broncos safety Darian Stewart that sparked the compliance investigation into whether Newton should have been removed and checked for a concussion.
"The NFL is committed to the proper application of the concussion protocol," the league said in a statement, released on Sunday. "In order to ensure that it is being uniformly applied across all 32 NFL teams, we have decided to initiate a review of the medical team's response to the Cam Newton tackle, under the procedure set forth by the collective bargaining agreement."
"Under that procedure, representatives from the league and the players association will review the relevant documents and video and interview the involved parties to ensure that the protocol was applied properly."
The process does not mean any evidence of a protocol violation was found, but was being undertaken to ensure player health and safety."
The NFL's safety advisory committee panel meets monthly and will consider a plan to adopt a rule used by college teams about targeting, which carries an automatic game ejection and a one-game suspension.