Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was carted off the field in the fourth quarter of Thursday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints. Despite appearing to have a leg injury, Kuechly left the game to be evaluated for a concussion, the Panthers said.
Immediately after the injury, Kuechly remained on the ground and seemed unable to stand. Kuechly could stand and support weight before getting on the cart, but was overcome with emotion as it took him from the field.
Kuechly is a defensive star for the Panthers, and leads the team with 14 tackles against the Saints. He also recovered a blocked field goal attempt and ran it back for a touchdown, although the touchdown was reversed because of a block in the back penalty against his teammate, cornerback James Bradberry.
He’s a huge loss to the Panthers — and the Saints exploited that with a touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener shortly after Kuechly left the field.
Kuechly suffered a concussion last season too, and missed more than a month of play. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera did not immediately have an update on Kuechly’s health following the Panthers’ 23-20 win over the Saints.