Panthers Olsen and Kuechly team up for Pro-Am
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was preparing to walk 18 holes Wednesday as teammate Greg Olsen’s caddie — a welcome activity for a player who has been limited as to what he can do football-wise this offseason.
Kuechly is recovering from February surgery to repair the labrum in his right shoulder — after undergoing the same procedure on his left shoulder two years ago.
And while Kuechly was strong enough to lug Olsen’s clubs around Quail Hollow in the Wells Fargo Championship pro-am, he’s not expected to participate in organized team activities later this month.
For most veteran players, that might seem like a break. Not to Kuechly.
“It’s just a bummer that you’re not going to be able to do a lot of the OTA stuff. I think that part’s fun. You get to get out there and compete with the guys,” Kuechly said on the driving range at Quail Hollow. “But it’s good to learn and watch from a distance, and help other guys out and get a new perspective on what the defense looks like. Just got to take advantage of it a different way.”
Kuechly missed OTAs, but was back for training camp in 2016 following his shoulder surgery after the Super Bowl.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the goal for Kuechly and defensive end Julius Peppers — who also had offseason labrum surgery – is training camp.
“Pretty much so. And who knows, maybe we might get fortunate enough to catch them at the end of OTAs and minicamp,” Rivera said. “But for the most part I believe we are eyeballing the opening of training camp.”
Kuechly doesn't expect to experience any setbacks.
"I feel good, shoulder feels good," he said. "I haven’t done a whole lot on the field yet, but it’s gonna be fine."