NFL players react to Luke Kuechly’s abrupt retirement: ‘One of the greatest players of our time’

After Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly retired from the NFL on Tuesday at 28 years old, fellow players chimed in on social media to express their shock and celebrate his career.

Kuechly, drafted ninth overall in 2012, made the Pro Bowl in every season after his rookie year and anchored a Carolina defense that spent a chunk of the past decade as one of the best in the league. But he also struggled with recurring injuries, including at least three known concussions between the 2015 and 2017 seasons.

In an emotional video message, Kuechly said the physical toll football had taken on his body contributed to his decision.

MORE: Luke Kuechly explains decision to retire from NFL

“The only way to play this game, since I was a little kid, is to play fast and play physical and play strong,” Kuechly said. “At this point, I don’t know if I’m able to do that anymore. That’s the part that is most difficult. I still want to play, but I don’t think it’s the right decision.”

Here are some of the reactions from around the NFL to Kuechly’s retirement:

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