CHARLOTTE, NC (Joseph Person/The Charlotte Observer) - A Carolina Panthers official said Friday that quarterback Cam Newton, who took several helmet-to-helmet hits during Thursday night's 21-20 season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos, has passed four concussion tests.
Team spokesman Steven Drummond said the tests came in the lockerroom after the game, on the bus to the airport in Denver, on the flight back to Charlotte and in Charlotte on Thursday at 6 a.m.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera, in a news conference at the stadium, confirmed the tests. And while Rivera said his opinion was that some of the hits on Newton should have drawn penalties and that it's time Newton started getting some "veteran favoritism," he didn't consider pulling Newton from the game and is confident the concussion protocol was followed.
"I'm not going to question the doctors," Rivera said. "They're the trained professionals."
Rivera also said that in the future the NFL should consider making blows to the head of the quarterback reviewable under the instant replay system.
Other topics Rivera addressed in the news conference: