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Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee was ejected during the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers for hitting Cam Newton after the quarterback slid on a run.
As Newton converted a fourth-and-4 attempt with a run, Kazee appeared to launch himself at the quarterback. A scuffle between the two teams broke out shortly after the hit.
Newton went to the sideline and medical tent to be evaluated but returned to the game without missing a play. He capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown strike to Jairus Wright.
Kazee, a second-year safety out of San Diego State, was expected to play a larger role in the Falcons’ secondary after Keanu Neal was lost to a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Newton expressed his dissatisfaction with the hit after the Falcons’ 31-24 win, declaring it a “cheap shot.”
“It was self-explanatory. What needed to happen, happened,” Newton said,according to Joe Person of The Athletic. “This game isn’t fit for cheap shots like that.”
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.