While it is no surprise Panthers LB Luke Kuechly will not play Sunday against the Texans, it is worth noting that it is now official. He has been downgraded to OUT due to lingering issues from a concussion suffered in Week One against Jacksonville.
Panthers officially have ruled out LB Luke Kuechly for Sunday's game vs. Houston.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 19, 2015
The loss of Kuechly is significant, especially when paired with the possibility that another key piece of Carolina's defense, Star Lotulelei, was limited in practice this week due to a foot injury and is listed as questionable. Most of the chatter I've seen suggests Lotulelei is unlikely to play, but he certainly would be nowhere near 100% were he able to go.
With Houston's shaky running game and offensive line situation as it currently is, Ryan Mallett's 2015 starting debut at QB for the Texans certainly won't come with an optimal set of circumstances. Not having to worry about Kuechly and potentially Lotulelei could help balance out those woes a bit.
A special note to Duane Brown's thumb - get it together, thumb!
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