Kuechly withdrawals from Pro Bowl game
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly will miss the upcoming Pro Bowl game due to injury…
The only Carolina Panthers player to be originally named to the Pro Bowl roster, linebacker Luke Kuechly will not be in action. After leading the Panthers in tackles for the regular season despite missing some time with a concussion, Kuechly was named to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl.
A Panthers captain, the veteran has been recognized for his consistent and high level play by earning Pro Bowl honors every season except his rookie year. As a rookie Kuechly earned the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award but wasn’t awarded a Pro Bowl nomination.
This year also marks the third year in a row that Kuechly will not participate in the game. All of the elected Panthers players from 2015 didn’t participate as Carolina prepared for the Super Bowl and last year Kuechly opted to not play after missing the final six games of the regular season with another concussion.
Kuechly’s official reason for missing this year’s game is injury, though nothing specific has been revealed. An exhibition only affair, Kuechly’s election to not participate is a decision likely to not upset many Panthers fans. While the veteran playmaker hasn’t missed much time over his six seasons, concussions have been an issue and limiting his exposure to injury is obviously of the utmost importance.
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A five time Pro Bowl nominee and All-Pro, four times first-team, the Panthers linebacker doesn’t need an exhibition game to prove his worthiness. While the all-star game of sorts is obviously geared toward the fans, there will be plenty of other stars on display when the game kicks off.
The Panthers linebacker will be replaced by divisional rival Deion Jones of the Atlanta Falcons. Jones was named Defensive Player of the Week once during the season and is a rising star for Atlanta in just his second season.
Two fellow Panthers are still scheduled to play after replacing other injured nominees themselves. Both guard Trai Turner and kicker Graham Gano will be playing in their third and first games, respectively.
Next: 2018 Preview - Away Games
The Pro Bowl kicks off on Sunday, January 28 at 3:00pm from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.