Luke Kuechly leaves game, is in concussion protocol

Carolina PanthersLuke Kuechly (59) is helped off the field after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

For the rest of his career, we’re going to fear Luke Kuechly suffering another concussion in every game he plays. His concussion history is scary. And on Thursday night, it happened again.

The star Carolina Panthers inside linebacker was evaluated for another concussion on Thursday night. During the second half, the team announced he was in the concussion protocol.

In the second quarter Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks pulled and blocked Kuechly, who didn’t seem to see Brooks coming. Kuechly got crushed on the play. He didn’t stay down, and there was no repeat of the frightening scene last season in which a crying Kuechly was carted off the season. He went to the sideline, then later he jogged to the locker room. He didn’t come out for the second half.

And yet, knowing his history, it was a terrible sight.

Kuechly, a former NFL defensive player of the year who is just 26, was asked so often about his concussion history and the possibility of retiring that he had to cut off those questions last spring. Kuechly missed the last six games of last season due to the concussion, which became a national story because it happened in a prime-time game and he had such an emotional response after it. He also missed three games in 2015 due to a concussion.

And now he’s back in the concussion protocol. It doesn’t necessarily mean he will miss multiple games or any games at all this time around. We’ll see what happens as he goes through the protocol. But this was the news Kuechly and the Panthers did not want to hear.

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!