Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was hit hard and knocked out of the game against the Panthers late in the first quarter. Tommy Kelly was one of many Raider players who took exception to it.
Palmer laid on the field for a short time clutching his ribs. He eventually would be taken to the locker room for X-rays, which were negative, but he didn't return.
The Panthers were flagged for roughing the passer on the hit on Palmer but a 15-yard penalty didn't bring him back in the game and without him, the Raiders offense could do next to nothing. With Matt Leinart at quarterback, they were only able to put six points on the board and lost the game going away.
The Raiders began going after Cam Newton with renewed vigor after that and Tommy Kelly had this to say about this to say about it:
"You don't ever want to see your quarterback get put out of the game," said Kelly to the media following the game. "So, personally, we try to put their quarterback out of the game. You don't try to do nothing illegal but you see someone put your quarterback out, it kind of makes you want to put theirs out."
The hit on Cam Newton had him literally kicking and screaming about the Raiders coming after him. The kick was to the face of Tommy Kelly and the screaming came later when he was hit by Mike Mitchell on a blitz. He screamed at the referees for which he made contact and was penalized.
There was nothing Kelly or Mitchell did on the field that would suggest they or any other Raider player was trying to intentionally injure Newton. They were coming after Newton but that is what they are supposed to do with nothing extracurricular.
One can still interpret Kelly's words as trying to cause injury even though he does accompany those words by saying there was no illegal intentions. In light of the Saints bounty scandal, the league is ultra-sensitive about the idea of intentionally injuring a player and if the league thinks he was saying they were trying to hurt Newton, he could be fined.
Newton will most definitely be fined multiple times for his extracurricular face kicking and going after an official.