Inside the Panthers

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly to meet with doctor again this week

Carolina Panthers linebackers A.J. Klein, left, slaps hands with Luke Kuechly, right, as they prepare to begin stretching during practice on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. Kuechly suffered a concussion in the team's season opener on Sunday vs the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Carolina Panthers linebackers A.J. Klein, left, slaps hands with Luke Kuechly, right, as they prepare to begin stretching during practice on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. Kuechly suffered a concussion in the team's season opener on Sunday vs the Jacksonville Jaguars. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly will meet with the independent neurologist again this week in what the team hopes is his final step in the NFL's concussion protocol.

Kuechly, who signed a $63 million extension last month, hasn't played since an awkward, head-first hit on Jacksonville running back T.J. Yeldon in Week 1.

Kuechly visited the independent doctor last week, but was not cleared to return to practice.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera sounded optimistic about Kuechly's chances this week following the first known concussion of Kuechly's pro career.

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