Panthers Kuechly, Kalil, Addison all suffer game-ending injuries against Saints

Carolinas defensive leader openly sobbing as hes carted off the field on Thursday Night Football

Jeremy Brevard—USA Today Sports
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) rides the cart after an injury in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Saints 23-20.

The Panthers came away with a win on Thursday Night Football against the Saints, but it came with a hefty toll.Luke Kuechly is the unquestioned defensive leader for the Panthers. Ryan Kalil is a team captain and a five-time Pro Bowler. Mario Addison is in the midst of a breakout season with a team-leading 6.5 sacks on the year.All three left Week 11 with a game-ending injury against New Orleans.For Kuechly, the scene was a somber one. The 2013 Defensive Player of the Year was hit squarely in the upper chest by Saints running back Tim Hightower. Kuechly then sat on the ground with trainers surrounding him as he openly sobbed on the field before being carted off in the fourth quarter.sonofthebronx: Luke Kuechly sobs after injury NBC Thursday Night Football: Saints at Panthe…— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) November 18, 2016
Entering tonight, Luke Kuechly had played 99.3% of the Panthers defensive snaps this season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 18, 2016
Kuechly’s injury was later reported as a possible concussion. The middle linebacker suffered a concussion last season that cost him three games.”I told we were gonna go out and finish this game for him,” Linebacker Thomas Davis said during NBC’s postgame of Kuechly. “I told him we love him.”As for Kalil, Carolina’s starting center went down with a shoulder injury that sent him to the locker room. He wouldn’t return in the game after being declared doubtful to return early on.Rivera said Kalil just couldn't go anymore with the shoulder injury. Rivera said Kuechly meeting with doctors.— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) November 18, 2016
Mario Addison also limped off the field for the Panthers in the second half, with his foot later being wrapped in ice on the sidelines. There was no update on his status following the injury, but Addison made an impact before his exit with two sacks on Drew Brees.All three players are crucial components to any chance of a turnaround in Carolina after a 4-6 start to the season. Heading to Oakland and Seattle in the coming weeks, the Panthers luckily have a 10-day break before their next game to get healthy.