Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers rule Luke Kuechly out for Sunday at Tampa Bay

Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly congratulates Thomas Davis Sr. (58) after a defensive series against the New Orleans Saints.
Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly congratulates Thomas Davis Sr. (58) after a defensive series against the New Orleans Saints. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly watched the team’s first game without him from the training room at Bank of America Stadium.

He watched the second game from the sideline. But for the third game, which comes this weekend in Tampa Bay, he’ll be watching from home.

The Panthers ruled Kuechly out on Friday, meaning he won’t travel with the team to Tampa Bay. It will be the first time Kuechly hasn’t been with the team for a game in his three-plus-year career.

Last week, Kuechly was on the practice field with his teammates doing some light work during individual and positional drills. This week he didn’t make it to the practice field, working inside the team facilities instead, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said.

Rivera said that as far as he knew, Kuechly had not suffered any setbacks and that he remained in the concussion protocol.

It’s unclear when Kuechly will return to the lineup, but the Panthers have a bye next week before traveling to Seattle in Week 6.

Receiver Jerricho Cotchery (ankle), offensive tackle Daryl Williams (knee) and offensive lineman Amini Silatolu (ankle) have been ruled out and won’t make the trip.

Linebacker Thomas Davis (pectoral muscle) is probable to play. Rivera said Davis won’t play 100 percent of the defensive snaps, and the team will likely go with A.J. Klein and Shaq Thompson as its only linebackers in some packages.

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