NFL Makes Decision on Huge Hit That Rocked Cam Newton

Getty Cam Newton

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton took a massive hit from New York Jets rookie Ashtyn Davis on Monday night that drew a roughing the passer penalty. Despite the penalty, Davis wasn’t fined by the NFL after further review, as reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

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Jets’ Ashtyn Davis Escapes a Fine

Davis is getting more playing time since New York traded away all-world safety Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks in July. While the 24-year-old has some upside, he’s no Adams, but he’s acquiring some valuable experience.

The hard-hitting youngster will certainly deliver his share of hits during his career, but this one has to be one of his most memorable thus far.

Did The NFL Make The Right or Wrong Call?

The hit looked bad, but it shouldn’t have been a penalty. As you can see from the replays, Davis hit Newton in the chest. It looked worse because of the whipping action caused by the impact, and because there is a huge disparity in overall size between the two men. However, Davis hit the area of the body that you’re taught to target and he did not lead with his head.

There’s not much else a defensive player can do in this situation. At some point, the NFL is going to have to revisit some of these calls, but it’s clear they are willing to err on the side of safety — or at least what appears to be a safe approach.

The league is willing to run players onto the field without much regard for their protection from COVID-19, but they’re throwing flags on plays like this every Sunday. It makes you scratch your head. In any case, it certainly worked out for the Patriots as the play kept the drive going in a must-win game.

Newton’s Status After the Hit

There were some worries after seeing Newton take that hit. The tenth-year veteran has taken some serious punishment in his career and the 31-year-old missed a good portion of the last two seasons from the injuries he sustained while a member of the Carolina Panthers. This was the first major shot he’d taken this season, and while he was wincing in pain shortly after contact, he got right to his feet and never missed a snap. He ultimately led the Patriots to a walk-off victory in one of the best performances of the season for the 2015 NFL MVP.

After the game, Newton said the play was his fault. He didn’t recognize tight end Ryan Izzo had released after blocking Davis initially. Had he seen that, he would have had a pass to Izzo in the flat that could have gone for big yardage. Perhaps most importantly, Newton wouldn’t have taken the hit.

“My neck is only working on a degree angle that shuts off the degrees to one side, so I’m looking — my eye muscles are getting a lot of work in today,” Newton told WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show on November 10.

“I told (offensive coordinator) Josh (McDaniels) on the sideline, ‘Bro, that’s my fault and I deserved it,'” Newton added. “It got us 15 yards, though, so it’s just the price you’ve got to pay.”

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