Before the NFL opener even finished, the league’s first controversy of 2016 was already brewing. In the game’s waning moments, questions were already being raised about the officiating crew’s response to repeated blows by the Denver Broncos defense to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s head.
Immediately after his team’s 21-20 loss, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis ripped the league and its officials for failing to properly protect the NFL’s reigning MVP, despite another offseason spent wondering what will be done to curb the safety concerns that have plagued football in recent years.
And despite an NFL statement within 24 hours of the game’s conclusion, declaring medical personnel discovered “no indications” of health concern for Newton on Thursday, the players’ association formally announced Sunday its intent to “initiate a compliance investigation into the Cam Newton incident.”
The NFLPA will initiate a compliance investigation into the Cam Newton incident from Thursday night's game.
— NFLPA (@NFLPA) September 11, 2016
Within minutes of the NFLPA’s announcement, the NFL followed suit, announcing in coordination with the players’ association “a review of the medical team’s response to the Cam Newton tackle,” including a plan to “review relevant documents and video” and interview all personnel involved.
Our statement on Concussion Protocol review pic.twitter.com/tq4sChAZOK
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) September 11, 2016
So, to recap, the NFL suggested Friday in a statement proper protocol was taken by medical personnel to ensure a superstar’s health in the league’s first game of the season, and two days later the league is launching an investigation into whether that was actually the case, seeming at the NFLPA’s behest.
As always, commissioner Roger Goodell retains absolute power in regards to disciplinary measures, should the investigation reveal any improprieties. And we all know how well that’s played out of late.
Yup, football is back.
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