The NFL will likely take disciplinary action as a result of illegal hits on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton by Denver Broncos defenders, according to the Washington Post. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that officials “missed at least one” hit on Newton.
Most had the officials missing at least three hits directly to Newton’s head during the game. One helmet-to-helmet hit was called nearer the end of the game, but it’s clear that there were multiple that were missed by officials. Goodell noted the hit from Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, according to the report.
Goodell went on to talk about what happens when officials miss calls on the field, and that discipline outside of the game is the best deterrent for those kinds of things happening. A player who delivers such a hit and isn’t penalized shouldn’t be able to enter his next game thinking he did nothing wrong, in other words.
Jon Runyan is in charge of handing out punishments in this matter, and Goodell said on Monday that Runyan will “come out with a decision in the next day or so.” Runyan was hired in May as the league’s chief disciplinary officer for on-field infractions. Marshall and other Broncos players could face fines or suspensions if the hits are considered particularly egregious.
The play that Marshall was involved in also included Marshall leaving his feet to deliver the hit on Newton.
There was controversy during and after the game for the fact that Newton didn’t appear to receive any kind of medical attention as a result of his multiple hits to the head. He was never examined for a potential concussion as part of the league’s protocol for head injuries. Goodell said that Newton never showed signs of a concussion during or after the game but that the process taken in the game is being evaluated.
Goodell also talked about replay review, according to the report, and suggested that illegal hits aren’t going to be coming under instant replay review during games any time soon.