Mike Pereira explains why hit that gave Cam Newton a concussion was legal

BY foxsports • October 2, 2016

Cam Newton is a physical marvel, but even the 6-5, 245-pound quarterback has been taking an inordinate amount of hits through Carolina Panthers' first four games.

That didn't change Sunday, when Newton was examined after a helmet-to-helmet shot against the Falcons. The reigning NFL MVP took a hit to the head while trying to score near the goal line, but despite the way it looked on TV, FOX Sports NFL rules expert Mike Pereira said the blow was legal.

"He is a runner, and the only way you have a foul is if the tackler leads with the crown of his helmet," Pereira said Sunday. "That's the only way. Cam is not considered at that point a defenseless player. And this contact is clearly the side of the helmet to the side of the helmet.

"So it's not a foul, so everybody take a deep breath."

After the game, the Panthers said Newton had been diagnosed with a concussion. He did not talk to reporters after Carolina's 48-33 loss to Atlanta, dropping the defending NFC champs to 1-3.