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Almost eliminated from playoffs, Panthers might decide to sit Luke Kuechly vs Redskins

Almost eliminated from playoffs, Panthers might decide to sit Luke Kuechly vs Redskins

Just one season after a trip to the Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers won't even return to the postseason.

Their fate was sealed Sunday when both Green Bay and the Atlanta won. The Packers win locked the Panthers out of a Wild Card possibility, and the Falcons win shut Carolina out of the NFC South playoff spot.

What does this mean for the Redskins on Monday night in the Week 15 finale

It could mean 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly doesn't play.

Kuechly sustained a concussion in the Panthers win over the Saints in late November and has missed his team's last three games. He was cleared this week of the NFL concussion protocol and returned to practice, but some questions remain if the linebacker should play with the team eliminated from the postseason.

"We are excited to have Luke healthy and cleared from the protocol," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said via the team website last week. "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."

RELATED: NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 15

Sure sounds like the coach is hedging his position.

Reports show that Kuechly will make the trip up from Charlotte to D.C., but the decision if he plays is not expected until Monday afternoon. Kuechly has a history of concussions, as he also missed three games last season with a head injury.

A three-time Pro Bowler, the Panthers need to weigh the risk and reward of sitting their middle linebacker in a game with no meaning for the franchise.

For the Redskins, not facing Kuechly is obviously an advantage, though Carolina's defense is still quite stingy.

The Panthers lead the NFL in sacks and have forced eight turnovers in the last three weeks without Kuechly. 

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Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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USA Today Sports Images

Redskins vs. Jets Preseason Week 2: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

After a fight-filled start to joint practices between the Redskins and Jets, the Skins' 2018 NFL preseason schedule continues Thursday night at Fed Ex Field against New York. 

Week 2 of the NFL preseason still doesn't provide a lot of answers to questions about team performance, but it begins to reveal the depth the Redskins could have this season.

One storyline that won't be taking place, is the return of former Redskin Terrelle Pryor, who told reporters after Monday's practice he won't be playing in the game.

The Redskins have bigger things to worry about though, like who will replace rookie Derrius Guice, who's now out for the year with a torn ACL.

The Redskins also have one less name in the fight for receiver depth as well, after Robert Davis suffered a season-ending leg injury as well. 

Ahead of Thursday's preseason matchup, here's everything you need to know to watch.

REDSKINS vs. JETS, PRESEASON WEEK 2

Who: Washington Redskins vs. New York Jets

What: Game 2 of the 2018 NFL Preseason

When: Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, 8:00 p.m. ET

Where: Fed Ex Field, Landover, MD

TV Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Washington, -3

Over/Under: 39.5

Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy

REDSKINS vs. PATRIOTS TV SCHEDULE:

5:00 PM: Redskins 100
5:30 PM: Redskins Nation
6:00 PM: Best of the Sports Junkies
7:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live

REDSKINS 2018 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Thurs., 8/9, vs. New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. (L, 26-17)

Week 2: Thurs., 8/16, vs. New York Jets, 8:00 p.m. (ESPN)

Week 3: Fri., 8/24, vs. Denver Broncos, 7:30 p.m. 

Week 4: Thurs., 8/30, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 7:30 p.m. 

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There are quite a few things that are wrong with this Terrelle Pryor statement

There are quite a few things that are wrong with this Terrelle Pryor statement

After pulling off a tremendous half-spin move when DJ Swearinger got in his face at Richmond, Terrelle Pryor released a statement on Twitter about the confrontation.

The fact that he felt the need to release the statement in the first place was a strange decision. That strangeness is absolutely overshadowed by how weird the statement itself is, though.

First, let's read it. Then, when you're done reading it — and trying to figure out who thought this was the right thing to do (which may take you a few minutes, so don't rush) — let's go over what makes it so bizarre.

Here's the message, which came out Wednesday night:

Now, here's what stands out...

The hashtags

They get worse and worse as you read them.

#headturn? #FlinchNRunGang? #SillyGuy?

SILLY GUY?!?!?!?

It's one thing to try and laugh at yourself when something embarrassing happens to you. It's another thing to start the #FlinchNRunGang, which is a one-member gang and will forever remain a one-member gang.

The message

Getting into a scrap with DJ Swearinger seems like it'd be a putrid life decision, so while the way he did it will never be forgotten, it was in all likelihood a smart choice not to square up.

With that being said, claiming he didn't do so because he wanted to be a "positive role model for the kids who came to training camp to watch us" is as outlandish as it gets. After all, he said earlier in August that cheapshots by the 'Skins would be handled "accordingly," which isn't very role model-ish!

Pryor's three paragraphs make you cringe after the first reading. After the fourth, they'll make you want to deactivate your Twitter account so you don't have to read them again.

The irony

The overall message is odd, but the last part of it is so ironic it deserves its own subheading in this blog.

"I will continue to work hard and lead by example by not making it about me and keeping the focus on the Jets organization," Pryor writes.

Well, as everyone knows, the best way to end a storyline and direct the focus back onto your franchise is release a statement that literally no one asked for. (That was sarcastic.) (That's actually not the best way to end a storyline and direct the focus back onto your franchise.)

The battery level

You can see in the upper right corner of the wideout's Notes app that his phone nearly died before he plugged it into his charger.

That's a shame, really, because if it did hit zero-percent, maybe he would've had more time to ponder his situation and come to the conclusion that keeping this all in his drafts folder was the correct play. 

On the other hand, though, he wouldn't have become the first person in the history of the Internet to publicly use #FlinchNRunGang in hashtag-form, so at least he has that going for him.

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