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NFL: Newton Suffered Ligament, Cartilage Damage To Knee Against Saints

Newton suffered ligament and cartilage damage in right knee
Jan 7, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) is examined after being tackled by the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL found that the Carolina Panthers did not violate concussion protocol in their handling of Cam Newton in a Jan. 7 playoff loss at New Orleans, but did reveal that Newton suffered a knee injury.

After reviewing game footage, and completing interviews with Newton, coach Ron Rivera, Panthers medical personnel and independent medical personnel the NFL says it determined that Newton suffered an injury to his right eye, and not a concussion.

RELATED: NFL, Players Association Say Panthers Didn't Violate Concussion Protocol on Cam

"The review established that at no point during the incident did Mr. Newton report or display any signs of a concussion or that would require a locker room examination," the NFL said.

Newton sat out a fourth-down play after the injury after taking a knee on the field, which some thought would violate the league's new protocol.

But the NFL says Rivera told Newton through headset communication to take a knee for medical treatment, and that Newton "did not lose his balance or trip" or "display gross motor instability."

RELATED: Column: Panthers Failed Cam Newton Amid Strengthened Concussion Protocol

The NFL says Newton could not bend his right knee normally while going down on the field because of an injury he suffered earlier in the game.

According to the NFL, an MRI of the knee the day after the game showed ligament and cartilage damage and very extensive swelling.

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