Panthers’ LT Russell Okung Considering Retirement Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Russell Okung in 2018. Photo by Jevone Moore/CSM/Shutterstock

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing Carolina Panthers’ veteran Russell Okung to consider ending his football career earlier than planned. Reportedly, Okung has concerns about the current health crisis and is prepared to call it quits if he gets a feeling that he can’t play football in a safe environment.

Okung dealt with a pulmonary embolism in 2019, being limited to only six games. He has since made the full recovery, but the 31-year-old left tackle doesn’t want to take any risks according to sources.

Since he is a high-risk individual, Okung had the option to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season by Thursday and still get paid a portion of his salary. And although he “seriously considered” this scenario, he decided to wait out and see the league’s response to this situation.

 Russell Okung joined Panthers from LA Chargers back in March in a trade that saw guard Trai Turner head in the opposite direction. Carolina hoped Okung will protect the blind side of their new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and provide stability to otherwise shaky O-line.

 Okung, who was No.6 pick in 2010, previously also played with Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. He has 124 career starts and two Pro Bowl appearances.