Kuechly now under concussion protocol, Panther Nation uneasy
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera confirmed Friday afternoon that star linebacker Luke Kuechly is under concussion protocol.
Most of the country watched Thursday night as one of the NFL's brightest stars was carted off the field, having trouble breathing and crying.
"Sadness because he is the best defensive player," said Panthers fan Demario Sims.
"I was shocked, honestly, just really surprised. It hit me pretty hard. It is just the last thing we need to see - for this city and this team," said Nathan Levi.
Coach Rivera did not seem keen on talking about Kuechly Friday. When asked if Kuechly had a concussion, Rivera did not want to elaborate.
"He is the in the protocol. No," said Rivera.
The coach also noted that he had not talked to Kuechly as of the press conference.
"It is all very concerning guys, but I am not going to get into the speculation of this. I am not the expert when it comes to that," Rivera said.
Bret Wood, Clinical Education Counselor for Athletic Training at UNCC, has been involved in athletic training at the college for decades. He has been honored a number of times for his work. Wood would not go into specifics about Kuechly, but did discuss general effects of concussions.
"Certainly some individuals can have emotional changes, and they may even report that they feel a heightened sense of emotion," said Wood. "If you have concussions, you may be susceptible in the future for subsequent concussions."
If Kuechly does have a concussion, it would be his second in a year.
As for Panther Nation, they simply wait to see what happens to one of their brightest and most talented sons.
"Here is a guy that is a warrior," said Rivera, "and he loves the game."
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