Carolina Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly, 28, announced his retirement yesterday.
Kuechly was the 2012 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and just a year later, he was named the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the year. Before entering the NFL, Kuechly played linebacker at Boston College where he had 191 tackles his senior year in 2011.
Kuechly missed seven games from 2015 to 2017 due to concussions, but it is not clear whether the concussions are the cause of his early retirement.
“I still want to play, but I don’t think it’s the right decision. I thought about it for a long time. Now is an opportunity to step away with what’s going on here.” Kuechly said in an interview broadcast on Twitter.
“In my heart, I know it’s the right thing to do.” pic.twitter.com/mSDyJ0iEMw
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) January 15, 2020
Kuechly finished the 2019 season with 144 tackles. The loss of Kuechly is a big blow to the Panthers’ defense.