Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton traded a possible concussion for a black eye when he landed hard on his helmet early in Friday’s preseason game against the New England Patriots.
On the seventh play of Friday’s 25-14 win and on a third-and-9, Newton scrambled and did a somersault to avoid a low tackle from a defender before getting tackled. His helmet slid over his left eye and gave him a black eye.
Newton fumbled but running back Christian McCaffery recovered before three defenders could get at the loose ball and the Panthers wound getting 10 yards and the first down.
Newton briefly exited the game to get evaluated for a concussion and returned a few plays later.
“It wasn’t no swelling by that time on the field,” Newton told reporters. “I just kept telling them, ‘My eye hurt, my eye hurts.’ It was as if someone poked me in the eye. The helmet just came down. It didn’t feel good.”
After the game, Newton appeared in his press conference with the shiner and was able to joke about the awkward landing.
“It could have been better,” Newton said. “There were a lot of malfunctionings going from the cockpit. Buttons were getting stuck. Oh, my goodness. It was bad. It was real bad.”
Newton completed 11 of 17 passes for 142 yards and completed his preseason 26 of 38 for 315 yards. Newton is not expected to play next week’s preseason finale in Pittsburgh.
In new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s offense, the Panthers want Newton to complete more high-percentage passes.