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Carolina Panthers’ Luke Kuechly Named NFC Defensive Rookie of Month

January 5th, 2013 at 6:00 AM
By Jesse Collin

Panthers rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for December on Thursday.

The former Boston College standout recorded a sack, interception and league-best 59 tackles during a month where Carolina went 4-1.

Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher was the only other player to record at least 50 tackles, a sack and an interception in December.

Kuechly, who also earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 14, seems like a shoe-in for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, which will be announced as part of a two-hour CBS special on February 2nd. 

Newton's X-rays negative

"Cam Newton" and "injured" have never been mentioned in the same sentence – until last Sunday's season finale.

The second-year quarterback was forced to leave the game for five plays after a scary looking hit from Saints defensive end Turk McBride. Although Newton appeared to severely roll his ankle, he was able to tape it up on the sidelines and reenter the game.

Fortunately, Panthers trainer Ryan Vermillion confirmed that follow-up X-rays were negative and revealed just a minor high ankle sprain, according to the Charlotte Observer.

This incident marks the first time Newton has really looked mortal on the football field. At 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, he is usually the one delivering the blows, not taking them.

Tags: Cam Newton, Carolina, Carolina Panthers, Football, Luke Kuechly, NFL

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