Phil Sears/USA TODAY

Report: Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly to Have Offseason Shoulder Surgery

The 2015 season started with a concussion for middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and it appears it ended with him playing with a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.

According to Jonathan Jones and Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Carolina PanthersLuke Kuechly is expected to have offseason shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder. The article states that Kuechly's availability for OTAs and mini-camp is in question however he should be ready in time for training camp.

The injury happened in the final regular season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers however he didn't miss any time. He actually went on to have a historic stretch in the playoffs, becoming the first player in NFL history to return interceptions for touchdown in consecutive games.

This past season Kuechly had his fair share of injuries, which is not typical for the Panthers' starting middle linebacker. For the first time in his career, Kuechly missed time after he suffered a concussion in the first half of the first game of the regular season against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He would miss the next three games and returned after the team's bye week in Week 6 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Even with missing three games, Kuechly finished 13th in the league in tackles with 118 total tackles and tied for first in the league in interceptions among linebackers with four. He actually finished the regular season tied with his teammate, Thomas Davis. He also earned his third straight Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections this past season.

The Panthers were busy last offseason locking a number of key players into long-term deals. One of those was Kuechly who agreed to a five-year, $61.8 million deal and became the highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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