Cam Newton is credited with 46 carries this season, many of those ending with the Panthers quarterback being tackled to the ground. He also has been hit multiple times, both in the pocket and out, a byproduct of his aggressive playing style.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera has expressed concern over the amount of hits his franchise star has taken, but Newton isn't buying into it.
"I don't take no hits," Newton said Thursday, according to The Charlotte Observer. "That concern wasn't brought to my attention."
Newton writes off the talk as speculation by people who don't watch him closely enough on a play-by-play basis.
"When people see me play, I have the ability to run," he said. "I don't think I take those crushing hits people would think I take. I think I get down as much as I can before I take that hit."
Like many brash rookies before him, there's a self-belief of invincibility that marks Newton's playing style. Remember, this is a man whose touchdown celebration entails pretending to rip open his jersey to reveal an imaginary "S" on his chest. It's a swagger that helps make him a dynamic player but also could lead to missed games if left unchecked.