Panthers offensive tackle Michael Oher still hasn’t passed the NFL’s concussion protocol since suffering a brain injury that ended his season last September. Further concern over Oher’s status arose Friday when he posted a since-deleted picture on Instagram that showed 10 pill bottles with the caption, “All for the brain smh” (via Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report).
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman responded to the post, telling Bill Voth of the team’s website, “I don’t know if Michael posted that photo or not. Regardless, my primary interest is Michael’s health.”
Oher has been away from the Panthers this offseason, thanks to a combination of concussion issues, a May 4 citation in his hometown of Nashville for an alleged assault of an Uber driver and “personal reasons,” but he has met with Gettleman. The GM informed Voth that he flew to Nashville on May 5 and sat down with the 31-year-old.
“We really had a great visit. We talked for an hour, had lunch, it was a very comfortable conversation,” said Gettleman. “We talked about a lot of things – nothing about football. It was about him, how he was doing and the issues he was dealing with. It started and ended well. And after we met, Michael did follow up for a few days. However, the communication has stopped.”
With talks between Oher and the Panthers having ceased, Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer tweets that the lineman is likely done in Carolina. For now, Oher’s under contract through 2019 after signing a three-year, $21.6MM extension with the Panthers last summer. Carolina has a mandatory minicamp next week, but it’s unknown whether Oher will attend.
“Our No. 1 priority is a healthy Michael Oher,” noted Gettleman. “This is not about football, this is about Michael.”
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.