Luke Kuechly leaves Panthers’ opener with head injury, enters concussion protocol

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Luke Kuechly (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly left the season opener with a head injury and did not play in the second half after entering the league’s concussion protocol.

ESPN reported that the two-time Pro Bowler staggered a step and fell backward when attempting to tackle T.J. Yeldon after a short reception by the rookie running back.

Kuechly agreed to a five-year, $62 million contract extension with the Panthers on Thursday. Since his draft year in 2012, the inside linebacker has been elected to two Pro Bowls.

He is also one of the only players to win Defensive Player of the Year within his first two NFL seasons.

Kuechly’s extension makes him the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history, with his extension averaging 12.4 million per year, according to NFL Media’s Rand Getlin.

The Panthers went on to beat the Jaguars in a 20-9 victory.

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