Tuesday, August 3, 2021. 11:59 AM
(Update : Tuesday, August 3, 2021. 1:09 PM)
SPARTANBURG, South Carolina – Carolina Panthers wide receiver Keith Kirkwood was hit near the neck during training on Tuesday and left the field on a stretcher before being rushed to hospital, while the player who tackled him was kicked out of training and then kicked out.
Head coach Matt Rhule said Kirkwood was able to move his legs and felt no pain after what he called an “unacceptable” move from rookie cornerback JT Ibe.
“It’s a preventative measure and we’ll see what exactly is (about the injury),” Rhule said after the first training with equipment at the Panthers camp.
Rhule was visibly angry talking about Ibe’s game.
The collision forced the practice to stop for more than 10 minutes, while medical staff attended to Kirkwood. Rhule gathered his players on an adjacent field and spoke to them as Kirkwood was transported to an ambulance.
“A game like this is completely unacceptable,” said Rhule. There are games where it goes fast and the guy is going to be stunned, but you can’t target a player like that. This is not what we want here. “
Rhule met with members of the media before the team announced that Ibe had been cut off. The Panthers have not posted comments from Rhule or general manager Scott Fitterer.
Ibe was trying to carve out a job with the Panthers after being ignored in the draft.
Kirkwood broke his collarbone twice last season and was limited to one catch for 13 yards in his only regular game. He spent his first two seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and he also played under Rhule at Temple University.