Luke Kuechly on fan who fell from stands: 'I couldn't just step over him'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly lived up to his nice-guy reputation when a fan fell out of the stands during Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

Kuechly was celebrating a fourth-quarter interception he returned for a touchdown by high-fiving fans hanging over the end zone wall at Bank of America Stadium when the man landed in his path.

Kuechly immediately stopped to offer assistance before heading to the bench.

"You probably would have, too," Kuechly told a reporter Thursday. "He fell out of the stands and his face didn't look like he was feeling too good. He fell right in front of me, so I couldn't just step over him."

Kuechly flashed a smile when told some players might have kept going.

"He looked like he wasn't feeling so good, so I had to make sure he was doing all right," Kuechly said. "Then he got up and he looked like he was doing better.

"He got up and smiled. Once he smiled, I figured he was all right."