The decision to sit the star linebacker comes a day after the team medical staff yanked him from practice.
Coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that the team was just being cautious with Kuechly, who has a history of concussion issues.
"Something happened on one of the 9-on-7 plays and he went to the side and they started talking and they just didn't want him to go back out. And being overly cautious, (they) just thought we are going to be smart ..." Rivera said, via The Athletic. "They told me that he got in a pileup. They came over to the side, they were talking to him. And they just felt out of precaution they just didn't want to do anything else."
Rivera reiterated Wednesday that the medical staff was simply being "overly cautious" with Kuechly due to his history, veteran status, and the fact that the calendar hadn't even turned to August yet.
We shouldn't take Thursday's absence from practice as anything more than an extension of that caution.
In fact, Kuechly is far from the only vet taking the day off. It seems like the Carolina coaching staff is giving most of the major pieces the afternoon off. Cam Newton isn't practicing. It's a rare day off for Christian McCaffrey. Greg Olsen, Kawann Short, Matt Paradis, Daryl Williams are also had vet days.
Rivera confirmed that the off-day was a scheduled break for Kuechly and others.
Where Bill Belichick once chanted "No Days Off," the Panthers appear to be flipping it to "All Vets Off" on Thursday.
With Kuechly lumped in with the bevy of veterans taking a rest day in the throes of training camp, we'll see if the star linebacker returns when the rest resume practice, or whether the Panthers stick with caution with their most important defender.