Panthers’ QB Cam Newton talks about his concussion

The Carolina Panthers lost QB Cam Newton to a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons, and the former MVP is just now starting to talk about the whole experience. He did say he learned a lot from it, noting that:

“Concussions are real. It’s a real issue, and I’m trying to find ways with my foundation to start focusing on head injuries because at our level, they’re focusing on it…when you put your guard down as I did, I hope people learn from it because Lord knows I learned from it.”

The actual hit itself was strange. It looked like Newton could have run into the endzone easily, but he slowed down for some reason and turned toward Falcons’ LB Deion Jones, rather than turning up field, and that’s when he got lit up. It almost looked like he assumed he would score and that Jones just wouldn’t hit him. Somewhat perplexingly, though, the QB said he just didn’t see him:

“I was still conscious in the Atlanta game, but it was still certain blurs that was just like, man, your mind is just not there…The Denver game, yeah, I got hit hard, but I still saw him coming. It was like, ‘Oh crap!,’ throw, here he comes, duck for cover. In the Atlanta game, I didn’t see him.”

Not seeing him was part of the reason that hit hurt so much, as Newton said:

“I try to describe it as I felt I got sucker-punched. Everybody has a brace, like an automatic reaction that your body goes to when you get scared. Everybody puts their hands over their face. That’s just natural. When I look back at it, I was trying to brace for the hit, and before I could, it was just bam, it happened. I didn’t know if I scored — that’s when I knew I was messed up.”

He did say that he didn’t blame Jones:

“I don’t look at the defender that hit me in a different type of way. He’s supposed to do that and there’s a lesson learned there.”

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