Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton admitted his recent concussion occurred because he let his guard down and said the incident opened his eyes to the issue of head injuries in football.
Newton suffered the injury when Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones hit him high as Newton tried to casually walk into the end zone on a two-point conversion.
“It was a lesson learned,” Newton said of the play Wednesday, according to Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer, adding that he promised his mother it won’t happen again.
Newton said he now understands concussions are a serious issue and plans to help bring more awareness about head injuries to youth football leagues.
“I ain’t never had that feeling. I don’t want it to happen to me or nobody else,” Newton said.
Newton said he believes the concussion is the first of his career, despite taking several hits to the head in the season opener against the Denver Broncos. Even so, Newton vowed not to change the way he plays.
On the topic of the Panthers’ on-field fortunes this season, Newton said the team is running out of time, but he still believes it can be great.
At 1-5 and coming out of their bye week, the Panthers cannot afford to lose to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, the team they beat in last season’s NFC title game, nor any other opponents for the foreseeable future.
“We just need to win. And at a rapid pace. Fast,” Newton told reporters.
Newton said he believes the Panthers are still capable of beating top competition when they put it all together.
“It’s not like we haven’t been playing great football. We just haven’t been playing complete football.”