Luke Kuechly clears concussion protocol; team eliminated from playoff contention

Luke Kuechly (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Several weeks after Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion, he has been cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol, Panthers.com reports.

Kuechly, who sustained the concussion in the team’s 23-20 victory over the New Orleans Saints in week 11, missed the last three games and returned to practice last week.

Even with the good news, team officials have yet to decide whether the 25-year-old linebacker will play against the Washington Redskins Monday night.

“We are excited to have Luke healthy and cleared from the protocol,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “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.”

With the Packers win over Chicago and Atlanta’s defeat of San Francisco on Sunday, the Panthers were officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The Panthers will face the Redskins at 8:30 p.m. Monday night.