CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was at practice Tuesday, but the three-time All-Pro didn’t participate in any team drills.
Kuechly is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol, but it’s still unclear if he was diagnosed with a concussion following last week’s loss to Philadelphia. Kuechly exited during the first half of the Panthers’ 28-23 loss and did not return.
“Yes, he’s in the protocol,” said head coach Ron Rivera. “He’s advancing in it, and we’ll see how he is tomorrow (Wednesday).”
Rivera didn’t give much more information on Kuechly’s condition, but reiterated that he’s in the protocol until doctors clear him. It should be noted that just because a player’s in the protocol doesn’t mean they have a concussion. The NFL allows teams to place a player in the protocol if it is in the player’s best interests.
Rivera said the process for getting Kuechly cleared and returning to the team is exactly how it was last season.
“The approach will never be different,” Rivera said. “He’ll be in the protocol until the doctors tell me otherwise. And then we’ll make decisions based on that from there.”
Kuechly has been diagnosed with concussions the last two years, which leads to more caution when diagnosing his condition. He missed six games last season after being diagnosed with a concussion. While he was cleared to return, the team kept Kuechly out of meaningless games after they were eliminated from playoff contention.
Ryan Kalil practices, could return for Chicago game
According to Panthers team reporter Max Henderson, center Ryan Kalil practiced Tuesday and is feeling good about his chances of playing Sunday against Chicago.
The Panthers have missed Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil, who is nearing a return to the lineup https://t.co/KhMzVfzIsM— Max Henson (@PanthersMax) October 17, 2017
"We'll keep working and see how it goes," Kalil told Panthers.com. "I just want to get out there and contribute."
Kalil hasn't played since Week 1 due to a neck injury.