Newton Seen Riding Scooter Without Helmet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Some Carolina Panthers fans don't like the fact that their star quarterback, who is under concussion protocol and missed Monday night's game against Tampa Bay, was spotted in uptown before the game riding a scooter without a helmet.

ESPN writer Adam Schefter posted the photo of Newton on Twitter Monday.



After the loss, the Monday Night Football crew ripped Newton.

"That picture, in the middle of the street, that's a bad look," said former NFL receiver and ESPN analyst Randy Moss.

"Just shocking," said analyst and former quarterback Tim Hasselbeck.

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"The optical is poor," said fellow former quarterback Trent Dilfer. "When they say face of the franchise, that means you can't do something like this."

But head coach Ron Rivera brushed off the incident on Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm not going to worry about that," Rivera said. "The bottom line is he's an adult."

Rivera said that Newton had a good day Monday, throwing to receivers, running and lifting weights, but did not give an update as to his status for Sunday's game at New Orleans.

Others didn't think it was a big deal.

The league's MVP last season, Newton suffered the concussion last Sunday after absorbing a helmet-to-helmet hit from Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones on a two-point conversion plunge. 

The Carolina Panthers stumbled Monday night, losing a sloppy game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when rookie kicker Robert Aguayo’s 38-yard game-winning field goal provided the final 17-14 margin as time expired.

Now the Panthers are 1-4 and at the bottom of the NFC South.

Newton was not on the sidelines during the game.

"This loss is a tough pill to swallow because it was right there in front of us," Rivera said on Tuesday.

Backup quarterback Derek Anderson started in place of Newton and coughed up the ball three times, including a fourth-quarter interception from the Bucs' 1-yard line.

Carolina next faces the New Orleans Saints (1-3), desperately hoping to end its three-game skid. Whether Newton returns Sunday remains a mystery.

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