Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly hasn’t played since Week 10 when he was carted off the field, in tears, after suffering a scary concussion.
While the Panthers haven’t ruled out his return this season (despite being out of the playoff picture), some in the NFL believe Kuechly should be considering his future beyond football.
According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, players are concerned for Kuechly’s future, as he has now missed at least three games with a concussion in two straight seasons.
According to Freeman, one player said to him, “[Kuechly] needs to think about, not 30 years from now, but five.”
Another player said Kuechly should be thinking about retirement. All believe he should sit the remainder of the year.
As Freeman notes, ten years ago, such conversations among players would not have happened. Much of the NFL’s history is rooted in players trying to play through injuries, with countless stories of players playing through concussions. With head trauma now a major focus in the league, players are actively looking out for one another and even suggesting when it might be time to give up playing.
It’s unclear what Kuechly thinks of the situation, but should he retire, he certainly wouldn’t be the first player in recent years to end his career early for his own well-being.