Morgan done in '06, maybe longer

In a move that will hopefully prolong his on-field career, the Carolina Panthers announced today that middle linebacker Dan Morgan will sit out the rest of the 2006-07 season in an attempt torecuperate from a concussion suffered early in the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

This is at least the fourth concussion Morgan has suffered as a pro, officially.

"He did meet with the medical people, and they thought it was in his best interest not to play the remainder of the season," Coach Fox said after practice on Wednesday. "We've been without him since probably half of the first game of the season. We've tried to get him healthy, and at this point I don't know that he's going to be healthy this year, which is fine. We're concerned about his livelihood and his health. If that means he doesn't play this year, then so be it. He'll be missed."

Morgan hasn't thrown in the towel for good yet.

"I'm obviously frustrated but I can also turn that into a positive," said Morgan. "I'll have a lot of time now to work out and heal. I think it will make me that much more hungry. That's just the kind of person I am to come back next season and have a big season."

Fox wouldn't comment on Morgan's future with the team.

Morgan will meet with the doctors again in February and determine where to go from there. When asked how many more concussions it'd take to make him retire, Morgan said he didn't know. "It's one of those things where something like that would have to happen before I even thought down that direction," said Morgan.

One reporter brought up a study that suggested that players should retire after three concussions. Morgan rebuffed that claim, stating that "it's not an exact science", but then admitted, "If I knew that was a fact, then I don't know what I would think. But I don't think anything is etched in stone as far as concussions are concerned".

During the session, Morgan made it clear several times that he intends on returning next season.

"This is going to make me better, not playing the rest of the season," Morgan said. "I'll be working out and running and be ready for next season. I'll just be hungry next season."

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