Luke Kuechly clears concussion protocol

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CHARLOTTE – Linebacker Luke Kuechly has been cleared from the NFL's concussion protocol. His status for Monday night's game at Washington remains questionable.

"We are excited to have Luke healthy and cleared from the protocol," head coach Ron Rivera said. "I know he is extremely motivated to get back on the field and help us win games. Whether he plays this week or not, I don't know. We have to balance our enthusiasm with what's best for Luke and the team long term."

Kuechly suffered a concussion in Carolina's Week 11 victory over New Orleans and he's missed the last three games. Kuechly returned to practice last week.

Quarterback Cam Newton (shoulder), wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (back) and linebacker David Mayo (concussion) are also questionable. Both Newton and Benjamin returned to full participation in practice Saturday after being limited earlier in the week.

Rivera said Newton is good to go and that Benjamin is "right on track."

Defensive end Charles Johnson (hamstring) and offensive tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) have been ruled out after they weren't able to practice all week. This will be Johnson's second game out and Williams' third.

View photos of the Panthers as they prepare for their game against Washington.

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