Rivera: Refs must protect Newton
Panthers coach Ron Rivera wants quarterback CamNewton to receive the same protection on helmetto-helmet hits as other quarterbacks in the league.
Rivera said because of the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Newton’s size and the Panthers’ style of play, Newton often doesn’t draw the flags on hard hits that smaller quarterbacks do.
Newton was on the receiving end of four helmetto-helmet hits in Thursday night’s 21-20 loss to the Broncos, who were penalized just once for such hits.
“I think there is a little bit of prejudice to that,” Rivera said of the lack of penalties. “It’s kind of like Shaquille O’Neal. He’s a big physical basketball player and he goes to set a pick and they fall down and they call a foul on him. Then he goes to shoot a layup and gets hacked and hammered and they don’t call it.”
Newton was tested four times for a concussion — after the game in the locker room, on the bus, on the flight home and Friday morning — and all proved to be negative. He was never tested during the game.
Marshall loses deal: Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall’s decision to kneel during the national anthem Thursday cost him an endorsement deal with the Air Academy Federal Credit Union, President and CEO Glenn Strebe said in a Facebook post.
“AAFCU is a membership-based organization who has proudly served the military community for over 60 years. While we respect Brandon’s right of expression, his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership. We wish Brandon well on his future endeavors,” Strebe wrote.
Marshall said the move surprised him but he doesn’t regret his actions.
“Absolutely, t hey’re worth the consequences,” he said. “I lost an endorsement. It’s OK, though, I figured that some type of repercussion would happen.”
Miller in court: Former 49ers fullback Bruce Miller made his first court appearance on assault and battery charges after San Francisco police said he drunkenly attacked a 70year-old man and his son. Miller, who was cut by the team Sept. 5, didn’t enter a plea, and his arraignment is set to wrap up Nov. 2.
Seahawks plan ‘ unity’: Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin tweeted Thursday the team will be unified during the national anthem in Sunday’s opener against the Dolphins. Baldwin wrote: “To express a desire to bring people together, our team will honor the country and flag in a pregame demonstration of unity.”
Former Seahawk and Green Beret veteran Nate Boyer hinted at what might come with a tweet reading, “Talked to the Seahawks. What the team will do is a powerful sign of unification + respect for the Anthem + those that fight for our Freedom!”
Extra points: QB Shaun Hill (Maryland) is expected to start Week 1 for the Vikings ahead of Sam Bradford, NFL Network reported. … Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (knee) is doubtful for Sunday’s opener against the Chargers. … Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi is a healthy scratch for Sunday. … Buccaneers practice squad WR Evan Spencer retired at age 23.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is hit by defensive end Jared Crick (93) in the Broncos’ win Thursday night.