Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly left Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first half and will not return, after being placed in the league’s concussion protocol.
The former Defensive Player of the Year came out after he took a hit near his neck and left shoulder from Eagles offensive lineman Brandon Brooks. Kuechly paused to squat down after the play with about 5 minutes left in the second quarter, then walked to the sideline for trainers to test the range of motion in his neck before he jogged into the locker-room, where he remained at the start of the second half.
Kuechly missed six games last season after suffering his second career concussion in as many years.
Kuechly had four tackles and one of Carolina’s six quarterback hits at the time of his exit.
The Panthers also lost running back Fozzy Whittaker in the first quarter due to an injury to his right ankle. Whittaker was taken to the locker room on a cart and is questionable to return.