The Carolina Panthers' Kony Ealy is entering 2016 with high expectations after an impressive performance in Super Bowl 50. It appears though that he will be stuck watching practice from the sidelines for awhile after suffering a concussion in practice on Saturday, according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.
Concussion protocol has been a focus of the NFL for a couple of years now and they recently implemented a new policy to make sure that the protocol is being followed. If the team is found to not be following the protocol they will be subject to a fine of $150,000 for the first instance and at least a $100,000 for every subsequent instance.
This was expected to be a big season for Ealy, who is entering his third season with the Panthers after they selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Daft. He was expected to be a starting defensive end for this defense after the retirement of Jared Allen.
Ealy has shown to be a streaky-type player after having five straight games in 2015 with a sack and then no sacks the rest of the regular season. However, Super Bowl 50 was a different story as he looked like a dominant pass rusher with three sacks, one forced fumble and one interception. The hope is that this would be a sign of things to come.
This most likely won't be the only practice he misses as concussions tend to linger and this has typically kept players out for a week or two at a time. It will be interesting to see how much of training camp he misses.