I got a text from a friend of mine during the Panthers game against the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago.
At first, I didn’t think much about it. But I was also only thinking with my heart.
The more I thought about what he was saying, the more it made sense.
Maybe it’s time for Luke Kuechly to seriously consider retiring from the game that he is so darn good it.
I know that may come as a shock, but before you rush to judgement like I did, think about it for a minute.
Kuechly missed the Panthers loss to Chicago on Oct. 22 with a concussion.
He may miss more time as Carolina has been extremely careful with Kuechly in the past, and that’s exactly why it may be time for one of the best players to ever play for the Panthers and probably the game’s best middle linebackers, and not only just of his generation, to consider walking away.
It’s ultimately his decision – and the opinion of the doctors – but this is a serious situation.
This is the third consecutive season Kuechly has missed games with a concussion.
In 2015, he missed three games. Last year, after as scary of a concussion as you’ll ever see in game against the Saints, Kuechly’s helmet was grazed by a running back. In that instance, Kuechly admitted he didn’t know where he was and was crying, dazed and confused. He missed six games for that one.
This year, he was one of the few – if not the only – players in the NFL to wear a special collar that was supposed to reduce his chances of getting another one.
It didn’t work.
Kuechly has already missed the Bears game and much of the loss to the Eagles. Who knows how many more games he’ll miss, but that’s not the most important part of this.
Once you suffer one concussion, the likeliness of getting another are increased significantly.
He’s had three and with today’s focus on CTE and the connection to concussions to death, suicide and debilitating, life-changing effects on the body, he may need to think long and hard about retiring.
It would be a sad case, much like the one of former linebacker Dan Morgan who was destined to be star, but kept getting concussed.
Nobody knows what effects these hits will have on Kuechly this season and later in the 26-year-old’s future life, but it isn’t a good thing.
I for one would hate to see him go, but maybe it’s time to consider it.