Panthers will apparently claim a knee injury caused Cam Newton to stumble

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While it's good that the knee issue sounds minor, it's just one more item to add to the long list of injuries Newton has suffered as the Panthers quarterback.

Losing to the Saints was a rough way to end the season for the Panthers and their franchise quarterback, Cam Newton.

What's at issue with Newton's hit is that he was not taken to the locker room for evaluation as the National Football League required when the protocol was revised this season.

If the National Football League determines that protocol was violated, the Panthers could face a penalty.

However, the NFL's new rule - which was implemented nine days prior - states: "A player who exhibits gross motor instability or significant loss of balance must be taken to the locker room for evaluation if it is not diagnosed as an orthopedic injury".

In addition to getting poked in the eye as the team said he was, Newton also injured his knee during the Panthers' 31-26 wild-card loss to the Saints.

"He took a hit". As he walked to the sideline, Newton went down to the ground, where he pointed to his eye as trainers checked him out.

On the surface, that excuse seems like a hard one to believe, especially in light of how often the NFL's concussion protocol gets ignored for star players.

"I know it was precautionary things for a concussion", Newton said last week, "but it wasn't a hit to the head it was my eye. He took a knee because they told him to take a knee so we could get the official timeout and Derek could warm up".

This isn't the first time the Panthers have been investigated for how it has handled the protocol.

It was determined that proper safety guidelines were followed in that case.

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