Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly suffered another concussion—his third in as many seasons. Should he consider retiring?
For the third time in three years, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is in the concussion protocol. The anchor of Carolina's defense and one of the NFL's best players, he walked off the field during Thursday night’s 28-23 loss to Philadelphia after being knocked to the ground by guard Brandon Brooks. Kuechly has missed nine games over the past two seasons due to head injures. “I love Luke Kuechly the person. I love Luke Kuechly the player," Panthers corner Captain Munnerlyn said after the game. "We’re definitely concerned about his health.”
Carolina's vaunted defense isn't the same without its middle linebacker, a historically great pass defender. The Eagles scored 25 of their points after Kuechly left the game, and the Panthers' chances of surpassing the Falcons in the NFC South will take a serious blow if he misses an extended period of time.
But Kuechly's personal health is the bigger story here. This offseason, he said he wouldn't play any differently given his concussion history, though he did decide to wear a new-age medical device in the hopes that it would help. After his concussion last year, which left him in tears as he was carted off the field, others in the league suggested that Kuechly should consider retiring. Now, at 26, he will perhaps have to consider that possibility again.
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1. Eagles 28, Panthers 23. Cam Newton failed to get points on two late drives as Philadelphia held on for a statement road win. Carson Wentz finished the night with 222 yards and three scores.
2. Ezekiel Elliott's case against the NFL faced a setback yesterday, as the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, to vacate the preliminary injunction that allowed Elliott to play. His legal team now has several options, but if they can't score a court victory by the time the Cowboys come back from their bye a week from Sunday, the star RB won't be on the field against the 49ers.
3. In New Orleans, Jeff Duncan writes that the Adrian Peterson trade was more about how the Saints have fallen in love with rookie Alvin Kamara than about the team's feelings for the future Hall of Famer.
4. The NFL Is Now One of the Most Divisive Brands in America. Relatedly, Titans WR Rishard Matthews tweeted (and then deleted) a statement suggesting that if the league forced players to stand for the anthem, he'd quit the sport.
5. Thanks to a rising defense, the Jaguars sit atop the AFC South. The Jags! (And imagine what we'd be saying if they could have just beaten the Jets.)
6. As the Browns head to Houston, having benched DeShone Kizer, it's fair to ask if they took the wrong Deshaun/DeShone. But the team brass says they have no regrets (for now).
7. The Baltimore Ravens haven't lost at home to a rookie quarterback since 1997. Is Mitchell Trubisky up to the challenge?
8. Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry defended his quarterback, Jay Cutler, in response to fans calling for Matt Moore to replace him. Elsewhere, Rams wideout Sammy Watkins suggested that he's frustrated by his limited workload.
9. The NFL is reportedly considering alternate sites for Sunday's Raiders-Chargers game because wildfires are affecting the air quality in Oakland.
10. Most teams have played five games so far, so why not start predicting who is going to make the playoffs? The New York Times is on it.
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