Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (concussion) inactive against Washington

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly works to get his teammates hyped during warmups before Monday night’s game against Washington. Kuechly was inactive for the game.
Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly works to get his teammates hyped during warmups before Monday night’s game against Washington. Kuechly was inactive for the game. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly cleared the concussion protocol Saturday, but was inactive against Washington on Monday night.

Kuechly spent nearly four weeks in the concussion protocol after a scary-looking collision during Carolina’s Thursday night game against New Orleans. He was carted off the field while appearing to hyperventilate, and was in tears.

On Saturday, about two hours after a conference call with media in which coach Ron Rivera said Kuechly was still in the protocol, the team announced he had passed the final step in the protocol.

Rivera told the team website: “We are excited to have Luke healthy and cleared from the protocol. I know he is extremely motivated to get back on the field and help us win games.”

“Whether he plays this week or not, I don’t know. We have to balance our enthusiasm with what’s best for Luke and the team long term.”

It was the fourth game Kuechly has missed this season. He missed three games last season with a concussion.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

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