Last night, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly gave fans reason for concern after taking a big hit in the fourth quarter of last night’s game against the Saints. The Carolina star suffered an apparent concussion and bawled as he was carted off of the field. Today, coach Ron Rivera confirmed to reporters that Kuechly did indeed suffer a concussion and is now in the league’s required protocol program.
This marks the linebacker’s second concussion in two years. Concussions come in varying degrees and aren’t always detected or reported, so it’s possible that he has had even more. When Kuechly suffered his concussion in last year’s season opener, he wound up missing three games. If this one is as severe as it looked, he could be out for a longer stretch. Rivera declined to comment on the Pro Bowlers’ status but we should know more about his condition by early next week.
Kuechly, 25, has established himself as one of the game’s best defenders and as the heart of the Panthers’ D. In each of the last three seasons, he has earned both First-Team All-Pro selections and Pro Bowl nods. Before the 2015 season, the Panthers rewarded Kuechly with a five-year, $62MM deal. He rewarded them with stellar play as they captured the NFC Championship.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.