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Charlotte Talks: NFL's Concussion Woes Hit Home For Panthers

Jeff Siner / The Charlotte Observer

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Panthers were called the face of NFL concussions last season. What's being done to make the game safer? A North Carolina expert on the forefront of NFL concussion research talks with Mike Collins.

The NFL's struggles with concussions hit close to home for the Panthers last season. The team tied the league for the most players with concussions – 7 – and the most games missed because of concussions - 22.

Credit Jeff Siner / The Charlotte Observer
Referees were criticized for their reponse to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton taking four hits to the head during the 2016 season-opener in Denver.

Star quarterback Cam Newton was among those sidelined, as was linebacker Luke Kuechly. Fans and commentators were jarred by his emotional reaction to being carted off the field in November after sustaining the second concussion of his career.

Just as the teams’ training camp was getting underway this summer, the football community was rocked by a report on the degenerative brain disease CTE that has been linked to repeated blows to the head. The brains of 111 former NFL players were studied. All but one had the disease. Panthers veteran Thomas Davis called the findings “alarming.”

As Carolina plays its final pre-season game Thursday, Mike Collins talks with a University of North Carolina concussion expert who is on the front row of research.


Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz, University of North Carolina, dean, College of Arts and Sciences; co-director, Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center (@unccollegedean)

Joe Person, The Charlotte Observer Panthers reporter (@josephperson)

Dr. Anthony Casolaro, Washington Redskins head team physician; NFL Physicians Society