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Injuries: Luke Kuechly misses Panthers practice

The Carolina Panthers practiced without a pair of defensive starters on Thursday.

All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly did not practice, according to multiple reports. Coach Ron Rivera says the Panthers are planning to play without Kuechly in Week 4.

Kuechly's absence is hardly a surprise, with the Pro Bowler still mired in the NFL's concussion protocol after suffering a head injury in Carolina's season-opening win over the Jaguars. With the Panthers set for their bye in Week 5, shutting Kuechly down against the Buccaneers on Sunday would serve as a sensible route for the defense's best player.

Cornerback Josh Norman also did not practice, but was dealing with a personal matter. He's been one of the league's most dangerous cover men this season, while doubling as a game-changing ball hawk. He kicked off the season with a pick six against Jacksonville's Blake Bortles and finished off the Saints in Week 3 with a late-game interception.

Other injuries we're tracking on this fine Thursday:

  1. For the second straight day, Colts quarterback Andrew Luckmade no throws in the portion of practice open to the media and was officially listed as a limited participant. Luck mostly watched as Matt Hasselbeck and Alex Tanney, the next men up if Luck were unable to play against Jacksonville, took reps with the offense.
  1. Ravens wideout Steve Smith, Sr. left in the third quarter of Thursday night's 23-20 overtime victory against the Steelers with a lower back injury and did not return. Teammate Michael Campanaro was carted off with a lower back injury in the fourth quarter. The Baltimore Sun reports he had X-rays.
  1. New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin announced that veteran receiver Victor Cruz is out for Sunday's tilt with the Buffalo Bills because of the lingering calf injury that has kept him off the field all season.
  1. Bills running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and wide receiver Sammy Watkins (calf) did not practice Thrusday. Coach Rex Ryan effectively ruled them out against the Giants on Sunday, telling the media, "We don't wanna say out. But yeah, I mean you guys can figure it out. "
  1. Steelers second-year linebacker Ryan Shazierwon't play Thursday night against the Ravens because of the shoulder injury that kept him out of Pittsburgh's Week 2 win over the Rams. However, Shazier should be ready to play in Week 5, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
  1. Redskins coach Jay Gruden told the media that wide receiver DeSean Jackson (hamstring) is "not officially out yet" for Sunday's game against the Eagles. Jackson hasn't practiced all week.
  1. Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones does not have a turf toe injury, according to coach Dan Quinn, and will be "ready to rock" on Sunday.
  1. Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman re-injured his PCL on his knee pregame on Sunday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. Perriman underwent surgery with Dr. James Andrews and is out indefinitely.
  1. Texans running back Arian Foster looks "good" and practiced Thursday, coach Bill O'Brien told the media. O'Brien added he is not sure if Foster will be ready to the Falcons. "He practiced today. I promise you, I really don't know what all that means."

Ryan Mallett (chest) was a limited participant in practice Thursday and is "doing fine."

  1. Eagles running back DeMarco Murray was listed as a full participant at practice Thursday. Murray told NFL Media's Albert Breer that he felt better Thursday than the last couple days.
  1. Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy (hip) returned to practice. Running back Joique Bell (ankle), tight end Brandon Pettigrew and defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (groin) did not practice for the team.
  1. Browns running back Robert Turbin (ankle) was a limited participant in practice Thursday, but coach Mike Pettine says he's still a couple of weeks away from seeing the field.
  1. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler told the media that his recovery from a hamstring injury is day-to-day; he was a limited participant in Thursday's practice.
  1. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis (hamstring) and wide receiver Eric Decker (knee) were limited participants in practice Thursday. Running back Chris Ivory (quad) practiced in full.
  1. Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas (tight end) was listed as a limited participant while wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring) did not practice.
  1. Saints quarterback Drew Brees (shoulder) and cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip) were limited in practice.
  1. Linebacker LaMarr Woodley (quad), wideout John Brown (shoulder) and running back Andre Ellington (PCL) were all limited for the Cardinals in practice.
  1. Defensive end Khalil Mack was added to the Raiders injury report Thursday with a hip injury. He was limited at practice. Defensive end Justin Tuck and safety Charles Woodson returned to practice on a limited basis.
  1. Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton suffered an ankle injury against the Ravens and didn't return.
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