Luke Kuechly was a popular NFL linebacker, but what was the strange device he started wearing around his neck in 2017?
The device Luke Kuechly started wearing around his neck in 2017 was a ‘Q Collar’. This was an experimental piece of equipment designed to prevent concussions caused by the aggressive playstyle of the NFL.
Read on to learn more about this piece of technology and why Luke Kuechly wore it.
Better Safe Than Sorry
In the NFL, concussions, brain, and neck injuries are part and parcel of the lifestyle. The aggressive playstyle that is encouraged has led to countless players suffering from such conditions at some point in their life.
Studies have shown that between 2012 and 2018, there were 1709 cases of concussion reported in the NFL. It’s a tragic fact, but such an injury can – and often does – lead to much more serious medical conditions. In fact, the danger surrounding concussions in the NFL is so prevalent, there are committees that exist within the sport to try and counter the impact.
One of the ways players can combat the potential risk of concussion is to wear experimental technology. One such device is called the Q Collar, and this is the device that Luke Kuechly started wearing around his neck in 2017. You can see images of this device on the Twitter post below, worn by Kuechly on several occasions.
The popular Panthers linebacker had suffered his fair share of concussions in his career. Over three seasons, Kuechly suffered three separate concussions, each one effectively taking him out of the running for a few matches.
As an athlete, your ability to compete is your lifeblood. With the impending fear of permanent damage being caused by the concussions, and a desperate need to get back on the field, Kuechly decided to try out some experimental technology.
The collar that Luke Kuechly started wearing was called the Q Collar, an experimental device from a company called Q30 Innovations. The collar was a revolutionary invention, and had been built with biological science in mind.
The collar itself would utilize pressure, pushing against the jugular vein on both sides of the neck. This in turn would create a ‘bottleneck’ of fluids, ensuring that there was an ever present ‘bubble’ of liquid around the brain.
Ultimately, this would mean that the chances of a concussion occurring were greatly mitigated. If the brain couldn’t collide with the skull under heavy impact, you would likely walk away concussion-free. This is the precise reason that Luke Kuelchy decided to start wearing one.
However, the collar wasn’t a perfect solution. In a game in 2017, while wearing the device, Kuechly suffered yet another concussion. One article essentially condemned the device as ‘pseudoscience’ suggesting that it was nothing more than a placebo.
Regardless of that fact, Kuechly continued to wear the collar until his retirement from the Panthers 2020. While Luke Kuechly himself hasn’t ever gone on file explaining why he decided to wear the collar for so long, we can only assume it’s because it genuinely helped protect him to an extent.
There’s a video on YouTube that further explains the workings of the Q Collar, and why Kuechly wore it. You can see this video below.
Although Luke Kuechly retired from playing for the Panthers in 2020, he did return to the team as a pro scout. His role would be to seek out new talent for the team, and to prepare them for bolstering the ranks. Whether he would continue to drive the use of the Q Collar for the rest of the players however, remains unknown.