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Four Bye Week Takeaways

1. THE PLAN FOR KUECHLY'S RETURN: Head coach Ron Rivera doesn't foresee Luke Kuechly playing 100 percent of the snaps in his first game back from a concussion, but he sounds fairly confident that Kuechly will play more than zero percent of the snaps when the Panthers return to action Week 6 at Seattle.

Rivera is hopeful that Kuechly will see an independent neurologist before the Panthers return to the practice field Tuesday and that the star linebacker will be cleared to return from a Week 1 concussion.

"We'll see how it goes with the independent. If that's cleared up, he'll be on the practice field," Rivera said.

As for Kuechly's role against the Seahawks should he play?

"I wouldn't say 100 percent (of the snaps) just because of the conditioning aspect. He's only been able to do so much. But his mental grasp of the game is still sharp."

Rivera also expects recently acquired defensive end Jared Allen to return to practice Tuesday. Allen missed the lone practice of the bye week to help his family move following his trade from Chicago, but he got good news earlier in the week regarding a pinched nerve suffered in his Panthers debut.

"He saw the doctors, got some treatment and was actually feeling better right away," Rivera said. "He should be fine by the time he gets back."

2. RIVERA'S WEEKEND PLANS: Rivera intends to watch the Seahawks play Sunday at the unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals - his second chance to do so in six days.

"Yes. I'll watch Seattle and see what's going on," Rivera said. "I also got a chance to watch them the other night. Their defense played like their defense, and that quarterback makes things happen."

Before settling in for Sunday's game, Rivera plans to spend some time on the road with his wife.

"The boss has some things planned for us, so we're going to enjoy ourselves, get away a little bit," he said. "We're going to enjoy North Carolina, driving around and seeing some different areas."

3. SPEAKING OF SEATTLE: Rivera also saw Seattle play on Monday Night Football, which featured a controversial ending. Rivera realized that it was controversial before many others did thanks in part to one of the many valuable coaches on his staff.

In the waning minutes, with Detroit trailing 13-10, wide receiver Calvin Johnson fumbled inside the 1-yard line, and the ball bounced toward the back of the end zone. Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright appeared to bat the ball out of the end zone, which no one on the broadcast initially questioned, but by rule the Seahawks should have been penalized and the Lions should have retained possession inside the 1.

"I'm very fortunate because one of my senior coaches, Coach Skipper, is basically our rules guy," Rivera said of veteran running backs coach Jim Skipper. "When I came into the office in the morning, the first thing he did was we went over that scenario.

"In that case, I knew the rule from having been a player, but there are a couple of things related that he brought up that I didn't know."

What was Rivera's takeaway from the play?

"Whether it's a player, coach or referee, human error is still a part of the game," he said. "That's what we live with. We've lived with it since the inception of sports. They try to do the best they can; we try to do the best we can."

4. ANOTHER SHOUT-OUT TO THE STAFF: Rivera was asked if the 4-0 start prior to the bye ranked as the coaching staff's best job in his tenure.

Rivera said no, but only because he had an even bigger compliment he wanted to share.

"The coaching job our staff has done the last few years has been very good, so I wouldn't single this out as the best," Rivera said. "These guys have done a great job, and it's not just what you are doing when you are practicing or are in meetings. It's all the extra stuff that's being done.

"Ray Brown gets the entire young group of offensive linemen – there's like eight of them that are first or second year – and they meet every morning with Ray and do a bit of a walkthrough on their own. Wide receivers stay with Ricky (Proehl) and Cameron Turner, the young DBs with Steve (Wilks). It's Al Holcomb facetiming with Shaq (Thompson). There are a lot of guys committed to the development of this football team.

"What they've done the last few years has been yeoman's work. They don't get enough credit at times."

View photos from the Panthers' practice during the Bye Week.

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