Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said what he had to say about Ed Hochuli after Sunday's 27-22 victory over the Saints.
Hochuli, one of the NFL's best-known referees, has told numerous people within the league that he adamantly denies saying what Newton claims he said.
One could infer that Hochuli is implying Newton is lying about the incident.
"Did you expect him to say anything else?" Newton said rhetorically Wednesday. "Okay, thank you."
As much as Newton and the Panthers want the story to go away, it was still alive during Newton's weekly news conference. Whether Hochuli told Newton that he was "not old enough" to get a late hit call remains a matter of he said/he said, with no investigation from the league forthcoming.
Newton deflected questions about last week's comments, opting to say he was "focused and moving on to Tampa Bay," Carolina's opponent Sunday.
But he made it clear he wasn't backing down from what he said Hochuli told him.
"My opinion, everybody has to be held to a standard. And as a referee, as a player, we always have that interaction with the refs," Newton said. "They say before the game, 'I'm here to protect you.' So not digging into what happened, it just has to be brought up that no matter what kind of player I am, what kind of talents I have, what I do, I still — as an official — I have to trust that he has my health in his benefit. Whatever play is being held, I should never have to question my safety."
Also, Panthers defensive end Jared Allen practiced for the first time after being acquired Monday from the Bears. Linebacker Luke Kuechly remained out with a concussion.
LUCK BANGED UP: Colts coach Chuck Pagano decided to give quarterback Andrew Luck most of practice off so he could rest his sore throwing shoulder. Pagano said he expects Luck to play Sunday.
STORM WARNING: NFL officials are exploring options for Sunday's Philadelphia-Washington game in case Hurricane Joaquin impacts the D.C. area this weekend.
BILLS: There's a "real possibility" running back LeSean McCoy will not play because of a nagging left hamstring injury, coach Rex Ryan said.
CHIEFS: Cornerback Sean Smith returned to the practice field after serving a three-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. But cornerback Phillip Gaines will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL.
EAGLES: Linebacker Kiko Alonso's left ACL is intact, and he's likely to play again this season, NFL Media reported.
GIANTS: Wide receiver Victor Cruz was unable to make it through individual drills early in practice without aggravating his calf and could be out for several more weeks.
SAINTS: Quarterback Drew Brees took most of the snaps at practice and will probably throw at every practice this week as he tries to come back from a right shoulder injury, coach Sean Payton said. Also, New Orleans traded defensive tackle Akiem Hicks to the Patriots for tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.
VIKINGS: Cornerback Xavier Rhodes passed his post-concussion tests and resumed practice after a scary collision on the field last week.