Newton, Kuechly Ruled Out For Panthers’ Preseason Opener

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly will not play in the team’s preseason opener, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera announced Tuesday.

Second year quarterback Kyle Allen will start for Newton and second-year linebacker Jermanie Carter will replace Kuechly, when Carolina takes on Chicago, Thursday night.

The Panthers are being cautious with Newton’s surgically repaired right shoulder and Kuechly took a hit to the head that kept him out of several practices last week.

Kuechly returned to practice this week and says he was not in the concussion protocol.

“It’s just to be careful,” Rivera told Panthers.com, “There are a lot of things that we want to see from the young guys. By doing that, we give Kyle (Allen) an opportunity right off the bat. We’re going to have a few more games where his reps are certainly going to be limited. Everything we are doing with Cam has been mapped out and everything is fine. Norv and Scott  have sat down and talked things over with Ryan Vermillion. Again, we are just going through the next step in the process.”