Report: Cam Newton urged to play safer following concussion

By Jesse Reed
Jeremy Brevard, USA Today Sports

Cam Newton will be sitting out at least one game after suffering a concussion in the Carolina Panthers’ Week 4 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. A player who has always played the quarterback position with a linebacker’s mentality, he is now being askedto take a safer approach in the future.

“Those close to Newton have urged him to get down, out of bounds or into the end zone quicker than he did last week, when he allowed the Falcons a free shot at him, and he has acknowledged the message and said he will do a better job of protecting himself when he can,” sources said, per ESPN’s David Newton and Adam Schefter.

It remains to be seen how long Newton will be held out of action. He did not practice all week leading up to the team’s Monday night game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He had previously suffered repeated blows to the head in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos. Though in that game the Broncos were launching into him in what could be construed as intentional targeting — something his agent believed to be true.

Many young quarterbacks have to make adjustments to their games after a while. Andrew Luck is another who has been asked to change the way he plays for the sake of his health.

Newton’s size and strength have given him a huge advantage as a runner, but he can also get a bit reckless at times, sacrificing his body to gain a few extra yards.

As one of the premier young quarterbacks in the NFL, it certainly seems like now is the appropriate time for Newton to start thinking about his long-term health. That means listening to his inner circle of friends and family and adjusting his game accordingly.