Report: NFL says Panthers LB Luke Kuechly shouldn't have been ejected

0:53 | NFL
NFL admits Panthers' Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected
Tuesday October 21st, 2014

The NFL has told Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera that linebacker Luke Kuechly shouldn't have been ejected from Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, reports ESPN's Ed Werder.

Kuechly also won't be fined, according to the report.

Kuechly was ejected late in the third quarter on Sunday when he swung his arm at an official attempting to restrain him while standing near a scrum after a fumble.

After the game, Kuechly said he wasn't aware that it was an official who was grabbing him and that he didn't mean to make contact with him for that reason.

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Rivera said after the game Sunday and reiterated Monday that he felt Kuechly shouldn't have been ejected.

"I disagreed with it,'' Rivera said. "I disagreed with the explanation I was given. I looked at the tape and I felt the tape agreed with what I felt.''

Kuechly, a third-year pro, has 82 combined tackles and one sack this season. He had 156 combined tackles, four interceptions and two sacks in 2013 en route to winning Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The Panthers lost to the Packers 38-17 Sunday and have struggled defensively most of the season. After finishing second in the NFL in total defense last season, Carolina is currently 27th, allowing 388.3 yards per game.

The team has been playing without Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy, who's on paid leave until he resolves his legal issues. Hardy was convicted in the offseason of assaulting a female and communicating threats; he's appealing the ruling.

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The Panthers are 3-3-1 this season and in first place in the NFC South. They host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Ben Estes

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