Carolina Panthers

Now Carolina Panthers LB A.J. Klein is in concussion protocol

Just as Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) comes out of the NFL’s concussion protocol, A.J. Klein (56) goes in. Klein was limited Wednesday during the team’s practice.
Just as Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) comes out of the NFL’s concussion protocol, A.J. Klein (56) goes in. Klein was limited Wednesday during the team’s practice. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

As one linebacker was coming out of the concussion protocol, another Carolina Panthers linebacker was going into it.

Backup linebacker A.J. Klein, who started in place of Luke Kuechly for three games after Kuechly suffered a concussion, is now in the concussion protocol.

Klein suffered the concussion in the Tampa Bay game in Week 4, but Ron Rivera and his staff were unaware of it until Klein told the training staff Tuesday morning that he wasn’t feeling well.

“(The team doctors) tested him and they felt he needed to be in the protocol,” Rivera said. “They put him in the protocol and he went through the process last week. And he saw the doctor on Monday and was cleared for non-contact practice (Tuesday) and then (Wednesday) he was allowed to practice.”

Klein was limited in Wednesday’s practice along with tight end Richie Brockel (hamstring).

Recently acquired defensive end Jared Allen did not practice Wednesday but worked on the side as he still tries to recover from a pinched nerve in his back that’s caused him to lose some feeling in his left leg.

Rivera expressed concern for Allen’s availability this week, and Kony Ealy and Wes Horton will be the starters if Allen is unable to play.

Undrafted rookie Ryan Delaire, who had two sacks in Week 4’s win in Tampa Bay, remains more of a situational pass rusher, and the Panthers are playing a Seattle offense that’s predicated on its running game.

Offensive tackle Daryl Williams (knee) remains at least one week away from returning to play, and he did not participate at practice.

Kuechly, receiver Jerricho Cotchery (ankle) and offensive lineman Amini Silatolu (ankle) were full participants.

Jonathan Jones: 704-358-5323, @jjones9

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