The Carolina Panthers' quarterback took several hits to the helmet during the course of the contest, yet only one was flagged as a penalty.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport obtained an explanation from a league spokesman about the situation:
"There was communication between medical personnel on the Carolina sideline, including the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant, and the two independent certified athletic trainer spotters in the booth. During stoppage in play while on-field officials were in the process of administrating penalties, the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and team physician requested video from the spotters and reviewed the play. They concluded there were no indications of a concussion that would require further evaluation and the removal of the player."
Given the NFL's emphasis on improving player safety, the situation surrounding Newton could lead to further inquiry, including questions about how consultants can conclude from video that Newton didn't suffer a concussion without medical personnel speaking directly to the player during the game.
Thankfully for the Panthers and Newton, he wasn't placed in concussion protocol following the contest. He mentioned he was asked questions after the game to determine whether he should be in concussion protocol, but he added it "was nothing too serious."
For his part, the quarterback dismissed the entire line of questioning about the helmet hits.
"It's not my job to question the officials," Newton said. "I really liked this officiating crew, so I know it wasn't something they did intentionally. But we didn't lose the game off of that. I know that for a fact. We just have to find ways to put more drives together."