Kuechly's possible return has Panthers excited and concerned

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The potential return of middle linebacker Luke Kuechly to the Panthers starting lineup on Sunday has been greeted with a mixture of excitement and concern by teammates and coaches.

Kuechly participated in all of practice for the second straight day Thursday, and coach Ron Rivera remains optimistic the three-time All-Pro will be cleared to play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4). He's in the final stage of the NFL's concussion protocol, and will need to be cleared by an independent doctor before being allowed to play in a game.

Kuechly is expected to meet with doctors on Friday.


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