The Carolina Panthers are coming out of their bye week and preparing for their matchup with the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. Those prepartations as of Monday will have to include plans with, and without, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly who has yet to be cleared from the concussion protocol according to Charlotte Observers' Jonathan Jones.
Jones does mention that he is meeting with the independent doctor on Monday afternoon so he could be back as early as Tuesday. Everyone with the Panthers is anxious to have Kuechly back and cornerback Josh Norman has tried to bribe him with gummy bears to get the Pro Bowler back on the field, ESPN's David Newton wrote. Norman said, "I gave him some gummy bears to give to the lady."
This defense has been without Kuechly for almost the entire 2015 season after he suffered a concussion at the end of the first half of Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team hasn't really lost a step though as they currently rank 10th in yards against per game (339 yards) and sixth in rushing yards against (92 yards). A.J. Klein has done a great job stepping for Kuechly in the middle of the field however the team is looking forward to having the All-Pro back on the field.
Kuechly has led the league in tackles two out of his first three seasons in the league and he is the best inside linebacker in the league. So while this group has gotten the job done, there is no question they will be better with Kuechly manning the middle of the field.