TAMPA, Fla. – Linebacker Luke Kuechly has missed time due to a concussion on three separate occasions during his six-year NFL career.
In 2015, he sat out three games. In 2016, he sat out six.
This year, Kuechly missed just one game – last week's loss to the Bears – before returning to action for Sunday's win against the Buccaneers.
"They are all very different," Kuechly said after recording eight tackles and an interception in Carolina's 17-3 victory. "You try to come back as soon as you can, but you've got to be smart with it. Our (team doctors and athletic trainers) do an excellent job with that. They're cautious and they make sure everything is crossed off.
"As an organization, I think we've handled it really well over past years. They don't play with them. Our team really cares about the individual."
Knowing that, everyone was happy to see Kuechly cleared to return quickly.
"It just makes you feel good to see him out there," defensive end Julius Peppers said. "I think that's the main thing. Obviously the communication, nuances and those things that he's so good at, that's a plus to having him out there. But more than anything, we just like to see him. When I see him in this uniform, it makes me feel good."