Luke Kuechly’s first game after signing the richest contract for a linebacker in NFL history didn’t go according to plan.
Kuechly suffered a concussion just before halftime of the Carolina Panthers’ Week 1 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Panthers linebacker had his head down while tackling Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon.
The full extent of Kuechly’s injury is unknown, but losing the two-time Pro Bowl selection for any time would be the second huge blow to the Panthers. Carolina already lost second-year wide receiver — and Cam Newton’s favorite target — Kelvin Benjamin for the season last month with a torn ACL.
Kuechly, who was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year for the 2013 season, has the most tackles of any player over his first three seasons since 1994. He is the heart and soul of Carolina’s defense. Any long-term absence would significantly hurt the unit, even from a fantasy standpoint.
The five-year contract extension Kuechly recently signed reportedly is worth $62 million.
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