Several NFL linebackers injured in season openers

Several linebackers were injured in Week 1 of the NFL season.

Luke Kuechly, who just became the league's highest-paid middle linebacker on Thursday, left Carolina's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first half after sustaining a concussion on a fairly basic tackle against Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon.

Kuechly, who has never missed a game in his first three seasons, wobbled as he got up and then dropped back to the ground again. He appeared a little woozy as he left the field.

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Panthers coach Ron Rivera called it a ''scary moment,'' and said Kuechly will enter the concussion protocol and be re-evaluated later in the week.

New York Jets rookie linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin was carted off the field with head and neck injuries, his body strapped to a board after being injured in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns.

There was no definitive word on his status and the Jets said he will be re-evaluated on Monday.

The third-round pick out of Louisville sacked Johnny Manziel - who replaced the injured Josh McCown - and caused a fumble that Darrelle Revis recovered. Mauldin remained on the ground for several moments right after the play, face-down on the turf.

Green Bay Packers linebacker Sam Barrington left his opener against the Chicago Bears because of an ankle injury.

In other injury news:

-Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton left Sunday's loss to Buffalo with a knee injury. He had seven catches for 88 yards.

-Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson hurt his left hamstring in the first quarter against Miami and did not return. The Redskins also lost safety Duke Ihenacho to a left wrist injury.

-McCown, Bills safety Corey Graham, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson and Dolphins tight end Dion Sims left with head injuries. McCown was replaced by Manziel, who threw his first touchdown pass in the loss to the Jets.

-Jacksonville left tackle Luke Joeckel left with a left ankle injury.

-Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie departed in the second quarter with an injured left knee.


AP NFL website: and