Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

NFL news and notes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton has had it with officials.

The Panthers quarterback fired away Sunday, saying he doesn't feel protected by officials on the field and that their lack of calls is "taking the fun out of the game for me." The league's reigning MVP said he simply doesn't get the same calls that other QBs in the league get.

"Enough is enough," Newton said after Carolina's 30-20 win over Arizona. "I don't think there's a person that can go through what I go through and keep their head, you know what I'm saying? Hits to the head, that's one thing, but when you're not protected in the pocket, that's another thing."

Newton said he plans to talk to commissioner Roger Goodell about the issue.

"I just can't keep accepting, 'Oh, we missed that one,' or 'I apologize for doing that' or 'I didn't see it.' " Newton said. "I'm just being honest about that."

Newton said his "breaking point" came in the third quarter when Arizona defensive tackle Calais Campbell hit Newton's knees, reminiscent of the hit that sidelined Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2008. Campbell was not penalized for the hit.

The league's competition committee adopted a clarification of the rule on hits to a quarterback in the knee area or below after the Brady hit, prohibiting a defender on the ground that hasn't been blocked or fouled directly into the quarterback from lunging or diving at the quarterback's lower legs.

"I could have torn my ACL," Newton said.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera was angry with officials after the play, but was not asked about the low hit after the game.

More official issues: Washington cornerback Josh Norman has his own beef with officials. Bewildered by the five penalties called against him in the tie against the Bengals in London, plus several other calls that went against his teammates, Norman went on a tirade directed at side judge Brad Freeman, according to the Washington Post.

"I'm going to be straightforward. He was terrible," Norman said of Freeman. "I feel he should be reprimanded."

Norman argued after every call, and after the game, he had words with Freeman, a third-year official. Asked about what he said to Freeman, Norman didn't explain. But he still had plenty more to say.

"C'mon man, you can go back and watch it," he said. "I'm not going to (overlook) how many plays he missed, how many plays he called. It was just terrible calls."

Charles has balky knee: Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was scheduled to see orthopedic surgeon James Andrews today to have his surgically repaired right knee looked at, the Kansas City Star reported. Charles missed Sunday's game at Indianapolis and only played two snaps last week after a two-game stint in which he was active.

Wade Phillips taken out: Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was taken to a hospital after being upended on the sideline during a play. The team said Phillips, 69, was released from the hospital a couple of hours later and is expected back at work today. Chargers running back Melvin Gordon was blocked into Phillips while trying to catch Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby during an interception return.

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