When healthy, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of the most dominant linebackers in the NFL today.
Unfortunately, good health has been a precious commodity for the former Defensive Player of the Year. Kuechly has dealt with multiple concussions and missed a significant portion of the 2016 season recovering from a bad one.
So, when Kuechly was pulled from practice with an injury Wednesday, everyone wondered what exactly might be going on.
Head coach Ron Rivera didn’t provide any details about the injury after Kuechly was pulled by trainers, but he did provide some context:
“Something happened on one of the 9-on-7 plays and he went to the side and they started talking and they just didn’t want him to go back out. And being overly cautious, (they) just thought we are going to be smart …” Rivera said, via The Athletic. “They told me that he got in a pileup. They came over to the side, they were talking to him. And they just felt out of precaution they just didn’t want to do anything else.”
When Kuechly did not practice on Thursday, curiosity blossomed. Steve Reed of the Associated Press asked Rivera about Kuechly’s specific injury on Thursday after practice, and the coach deflected:
Hopefully Kuechly is just dealing with a minor issue that has nothing to do with his brain.
However, Carolina’s refusal to address any specifics is a bit alarming. It’s not like they have a regular-season game and are trying to avoid giving another team an edge. If Rivera had come out and just said, “it’s an ankle” or “he got a stinger” we’d have nothing really to talk about.