Panthers defensive end Henry Anderson has missed Carolina's last six games, and on Wednesday, he revealed the scary reason why he hasn't been able to play since October: He suffered a minor stroke.
The incident went down on Oct. 22 and after it happened, the Panthers placed Anderson on the non-football illness list, which means the team didn't have to disclose the specific reason why he was out. With Anderson possibly returning to the field this week against the Seahawks for the first time since Week 6, he opened up about the "minor stroke" that he suffered.
"It was a blood clot in the brain, that's what the issue was," Anderson said Wednesday, via the Associated Press. "We got it resolved pretty quickly."
According to Anderson, he was at home with his wife when his extremities started to go numb. At that point, his speech was also slurred and he knew something was wrong, so he immediately contacted the Panthers' medical staff.
"I didn't know much about strokes but I found out more about them and realized I got pretty lucky avoiding anything serious and long term," Anderson said. "I am glad that I was kind of oblivious when it happened because I would have been a little more panicked had I realized what was going on."
After six weeks on the NFI list, Anderson has been designated to return to the field and that team is hopeful that he'll be able to play on Sunday. If Anderson is medically cleared, he plans to be out there.
"I'm a football player," Anderson said, via ESPN.com. "If I'm cleared to play, I want to be out there and play football because that's what I love to do. I've been injured several times throughout my career, and it's always kind of overwhelming when you're injured and not with the team, so if the doctors say I'm good to go and I've got clearance I want to be out there with my guys and playing with my brothers."
Anderson is very well aware that this stroke could have been worse and he's grateful that it wasn't.
"I don't know how to say it,'' Anderson said. "After speaking with everybody and realizing that I avoided anything major and got really lucky, it kind of like eased my mind."
Anderson, who was a third-round pick of the Colts in 2015, is in his first season with the Panthers. He signed with Carolina after spending one season with the Patriots in 2021. Before that, he spent three seasons with both the Colts (2015-17) and Jets (2018-2020).