Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly‘s taking another important step today en route to getting back on the field.

According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Kuechly took the practice field in full pads Wednesday, which would put him in the next-to-last phase of the concussion protocol.

Kuechly would still need to be cleared by an independent neurologist before he can return to the field.

The former defensive player of the year missed last week’s game against the Bears after leaving the previous Thursday’s game against the Eagles, and he was immediately placed in the protocol, for the third time in 26 months.