Source: Panthers LB Luke Kuechly out of concussion protocol

Source: Panthers LB Luke Kuechly out of concussion protocol

CHARLOTTE, NC (Jonathan Jones/The Charlotte Observer) - Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is out of the concussion protocol Tuesday after being cleared by an independent neurologist, a source close to Kuechly told the Observer.

The news comes more than four weeks after Kuechly suffered a concussion late in the first half of Week 1's win at Jacksonville.

Kuechly is now cleared to practice with the Panthers, who will take the field this afternoon as they prepare for their game this Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Kuechly had seen the independent doctor before last week's bye and was not cleared. He met with the doctor again Monday afternoon.

One of the biggest challenges for Kuechly will be his conditioning. He hasn't played in a game since mid-September and he hasn't done much more on a practice field than light non-contact drills with his position group. Kuechly has been training at the team facilities while in the concussion protocol.

Before the concussion, Kuechly had played nearly 98 percent of all the defensive snaps for Carolina since coming to the NFL in 2012. But he likely won't play 100 percent of the snaps in this week's game in Seattle due to his conditioning level, as well as the level of play by his fellow linebackers.