SEATTLE (NBC Sports) - Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera benched quarterback Cam Newton Sunday night against the Seahawks because he broke a team dress code rule - he didn't wear a tie.
Newton says he understands Rivera's hands were tied because a rule is a rule.
"It was a travel dress code violation and the decision was treat him like I do all the other players on the team and he didn't start," Rivera said.
"It came down to a dress code matter," Newton added. "I didn't follow dress code and coach told me I wasn't going to start. I stand by his decision."
The Panthers played at Oakland last week and did not travel home, choosing instead to practice on the West Coast for the week before the game at Seattle. Newton said he ordinarily has proper attire for traveling, but he sent his traveling clothes off when the team shipped its gear from Oakland to Seattle and found himself without anything to wear that would conform to Rivera’s dress code.
"We’ve been in California for a week and we shipped our clothes off, so that was the big no-no. But we didn’t lose this game because I didn’t have a tie," Newton said.