According to an interview on Sirius XM’s “Movin’ the Chains” with head coach Ron Rivera, linebacker Luke Kuechly will miss the team’s season finale in Tampa Bay this week.
“Going forward, it’s what’s best for him,” said Rivera, who has said for weeks that he will “err on the side of caution” with Kuechly, who has missed the last five weeks after suffering a concussion against New Orleans in November.
Kuechly exited the concussion protocol before the Panthers traveled to Washington, but was held out from that game and also from Carolina’s game against Atlanta the following week. He made it clear he wanted to play, but would respect coaches and doctors’ decisions.
He’ll finish the season with 102 tackles, two sacks, an interception and a Pro Bowl selection.
The Panthers also placed two players on injured reserve, the team announced Tuesday.
Backup defensive end Ryan Delaire is headed to injured reserve with a knee injury for the second time this season -- and this time he won’t be coming off it.
Delaire spent more than two months on IR following arthroscopic knee surgery in September before being activated in Week 13. Delaire finished the season with one sack and six tackles in six games.
Safety Tre Boston has also been placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury. He finished the season with 38 tackles (14 assisted), two sacks and two interceptions.
In corresponding moves, Carolina signed defensive end Larry Webster from the practice squad. Webster, a former Division II basketball player, has been in the NFL since 2014 but has never played in a regular-season game. The team also signed safety Travell Dixon from the practice squad, as well as tight end Eric Wallace, who played basketball for Ohio State, DePaul and Seattle University in college and then played for the Australian Football League. He moved back to the United States when he was 27 years old, and signed a preseason free agent deal with the Panthers last summer. He was waived in September.