Panthers concerned about ‘The Blind Side’ inspiration

nfl-Michael-OherThe Carolina Panthers are not turning a blind eye to their teammate who inspired the movie “The Blind Side”.

Panthers offensive tackle Michael Oher, who has been in the NFL’s concussion protocol for more than eight months, continues to be the team’s top priority, according general manager Dave Gettleman.

Oher, 31, posted a picture on Instagram earlier this week of 10 pill bottles sitting on a counter with the caption, “All for the brain smh.” The assumption was that Oher wanted to show the medications he is taking to deal with injuries suffered on the field. The Instagram post was quickly deleted.

Gettleman responded Friday about Oher’s social media post. “I don’t know if Michael posted that photo or not. Regardless, my primary interest is Michael’s health.”

Oher missed the final 13 games of the 2016 season with a concussion suffered in late September. Gettleman said he flew to Nashville, Tenn., on May 5 to meet with Oher and talk to him for the first time since March.

“We really had a great visit,” Gettleman said. “We talked for an hour, had lunch. It was a very comfortable conversation. We talked about a lot of things – nothing about football. It was about him, how he was doing and the issues he was dealing with.

“It started and ended well. And after we met, Michael did follow up for a few days. However, the communication has stopped. Our No. 1 priority is a healthy Michael Oher. This is not about football, this is about Michael.”

A league source recently told ESPN that Oher would be at the team’s mandatory June 13-15 minicamp even though he has not participated in voluntary workouts.

Oher was charged with assaulting an Uber driver in Nashville in late May, and a trial date is set for July 21.

The 2009 Hollywood hit movie “The Blind Side” was based on Oher’s life story. A first-round pick in 2009, Oher has played for the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Panthers.

After starting at left tackle for the Panthers in Super Bowl 50 in his first year with Carolina, the 6-foot-4, 315-pound Oher signed a three-year, $21.6 million extension with $9.5 million guaranteed in June 2016.

Photo courtesy of Carolina Panthers

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