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Panthers LB Kuechly: No plans to retire after second concussion

Panthers LB Kuechly: No plans to retire after second concussion

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is perhaps the NFL's highest-profile concussion case since we started to understand the ramifications of concussions for players.

Kuechly, 25, was cleared from concussion protocol about a week ago.

"He wants to play, but I have told him that I have a lot of things to weigh", Rivera said.

Kuechly has a history with concussions that predates this season, as he suffered one early past year and spent 37 days in the protocol, ultimately sitting out three games. We weren't fully aware of what Junior Seau was going through when he played. Hugh said "You can say what you want about Cam, but he spoke from the heart". Now this is coming strictly for me - I'm not talking for RV [head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion], not talking for Coach, and I'm definitely not talking for Luke.

Newton said the concussion he received on a hit from linebacker Deion Jones while trying to score on a 2-point conversion against the Falcons began a learning process on concussions that has "enlightened" him.

Kuechly was in the concussion protocol for three games after suffering the injury in a November 17 win against New Orleans. "Straight up." Newton added that he wouldn't want to risk jeopardizing his career just to bring him back.

Coach Ron Rivera might make the decision to take a cautions approach with its star defender, as the 6-8 Panthers are outside of the playoff picture.

"I'm not anxious about (CTE) and I think there is a lot to be learned from it", Kuechly said. "Those guys, along with Thomas have made some big plays in games that have helped us win".

"You can't rush that, " Newton said.

Newton was frank about what he'd like to see happen with Kuechly over the next two weeks. ". It's not like an ankle sprain or a broken rib of a shoulder issue". This is something that the National Football League is saying they're serious about. Wooziness. But nothing like a hit that occurred when I had the concussion. If Kuechly has been cleared by the doctors who aren't employed by the team, there's something a bit off about a football coach making what is by definition a neurological decision - if you assume the protocol is a true safety net for players. "This game brings a lot of joy, and also it's a lot of repercussions that come with it". "And you see guys who have things stemming back from their concussion years removed from the game".

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