Cam Newton Takes Vicious Late Hit to Head, Damontae Kazee Ejected; Brawl Ensues

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2018

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) slides down as Atlanta Falcons cornerback Damontae Kazee (27) prepares to hit Newton during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Atlanta. Kazee was ejected from the game after the hit. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee was ejected Sunday after a late hit to Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton while he was sliding.

According to Dan Wolken of USA Today, Newton looked woozy while walking off the field after getting hit around the head area by Kazee.

Per Matt Tabeek of the Falcons' official website, Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith was also flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play for retaliating against Kazee, resulting in offsetting penalties.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFL confirmed Kazee's ejection was for unnecessary roughness against a quarterback and not for lowering his helmet to initiate a hit:

Newton remained in the game after the hit and finished the drive with a five-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarius Wright to put Carolina on top 10-3 in the second quarter.

After Kazee was ejected, ESPN's Trey Wingo praised the officials for getting the call right:

Knox Bardeen of 92.9 The Game in Atlanta chastised Kazee for a hit that cost the Falcons dearly due to their lack of depth at safety:

Kazee started the game in place of Keanu Neal, who is out for the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL last week.

With Kazee out, Ricardo Allen, Jordan Richards and Keith Tandy are the only active and healthy safeties on the Atlanta roster.

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