Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly are bonded by busting their tails together in a weight room in Florida before the 2012 NFL Draft.
“I trained with him in the offseason before,” he said via conference call on Wednesday. “We just kind of naturally started working out together because I would stay late and he would stay late. So we would just kind of try to do extra work.”
Also in that group was former Panthers cornerback Josh Norman, who is now with Washington.
“We would all just push each other, on and off the field,” said Wagner.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Kuechly is still in the concussion protocol after a scary-looking hit in Carolina’s Thursday Night Football matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 17. He is at team practices in San Jose but not active, and he likely will not play against the Seahawks.
Wagner said that when Kuechly got hurt, he sent him a text to make sure he was OK.
“We have a little bit of a relationship. I text him year to year to check on him, see how he’s doing,” said Wagner. “When he got hurt I checked on him. Same thing, he checks on me, asks how my family is doing. So it’s just that type of communication, making sure everybody is OK.
“It was definitely a scary moment, especially when you see a tough guy like that in the amount of pain that he was in. I wasn’t too sure what happened. ... Everybody is a competitor and wants to win, but at the end of the day everybody is just fighting to feed their family. So when you see a guy go down like that, you know that it’s not only him that’s affected, it’s his family who is affected too. I just wanted to make sure everybody was OK.”