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What Panthers LB Luke Kuechly faces with concussion protocol

The severity of Luke Kuechly's concussion will be known later this week. Phil Sears/USA TODAY Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- These numbers compiled by ESPN Stats and Information give you an idea of what Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly faces in terms of being cleared from the concussion protocol in time for Sunday’s home opener against Houston:

  • Last season, there were 14 instances of linebackers being placed on an injury report with a head or concussion injury. The average games missed was three.

  • There were nine linebackers listed with a head or concussion last season that didn't miss any games.

  • Since 2010, the Panthers have had three linebackers with a head/concussion injury on an injury report: Thomas Williams in 2011 didn't miss any games; Nic Harris in 2010 missed one game; James Anderson in 2010 didn't miss any games.

Kuechly went into the concussion protocol after suffering a head injury late in the first half of Sunday’s 20-9 victory at Jacksonville.

Coach Ron Rivera said he talked to Kuechly on Monday, and the two-time Pro Bowler appeared fine.

“He looked like Luke to me,’’ Rivera said. “He had a good day, but he’s in the protocol, Today was come in and see how he is. He’s fine.

“Tomorrow he’ll go through the next step . . . he’s going to have to take the baseline test, and that’ll be examined by the doctor.’’

But Rivera reminded the media he’s not a doctor and would not get into guessing the severity of Kuechly’s concussion.

“Last time I tried it, somebody said I shouldn’t, so I’m not gonna,’’ Rivera said.

Rivera said Kuechly will remain a part of the game plan even when he’s not allowed to be involved in contact drills.

“The guy that is going to replace him is going to have to know what he has to do,’’ Rivera said.

That would be A.J. Klein, who had five tackles after replacing Kuechly on Sunday.

“First of all, A.J. Klein stepped up,’’ Rivera said. “The thing that was even better is the other 10 guys didn’t feel they needed to more than they had to.’’