Rivera: Refs must pro­tect New­ton

Baltimore Sun - - NFL & RAVENS -

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.

JOE MAHONEY/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pan­thers quar­ter­back Cam New­ton is hit by de­fen­sive end Jared Crick (93) in the Bron­cos’ win Thurs­day night.

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