Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly has cleared the concussion protocol, the team announced Friday, and is expected to play Sunday at Tampa Bay.

Kuechly was cleared by an independent neuroconsultant as the final step in the NFL’s protocol.

Kuechly was a full participant in practice this week, and all signs point to him returning against the Buccaneers.

“He’s practiced all three days full practice,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Friday.

Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil is out Sunday after aggravating a neck injury last week at Chicago. Kalil was in for only 15 snaps against the Bears and has played only two games this year.