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Panthers at Bears: Luke Kuechly will not play

The Panthers will be without the services of their all pro linebacker, Luke Kuechly.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

#AsExpected

Luke Kuechly will miss the Panthers contest with the Bears this Sunday. After Adam Schefter initially reported that he didn’t think Luke Kuechly suffered a concussion, the Panthers quickly snapped back and simply said he was “in the concussion protocol”. While nobody could seem to confirm this status, Kuechly has yet to actually clear the protocol, and therefore is not eligible to play despite being able to practice on a limited basis this week.

The Panthers will look to David Mayo to step in as the middle linebacker in his stead, while I also expect them to use Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson heavily in nickel sets. This is a blow to a defense that is looking to shut down a run-first Bears offense, however Mayo has shown well during limited action. The Panthers want David Mayo to step up and replace A.J. Klein as a valuable depth piece for these situations, now is his time to show it.