Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner clears concussion protocol, expected to start in wild-card game

ByDavid Newton ESPN logo
Saturday, January 6, 2018

NEW ORLEANS -- Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl right guard Trai Turner was cleared from the concussion protocol on Saturday and is expected to start in Sunday's NFC wild-card playoff game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Turner missed the last three games of the regular season after being placed in the protocol the day after a 31-24 Week 14 win against the Minnesota Vikings.

A native of New Orleans, Turner made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and 2016. He signed a four-year, $45 million deal during the offseason.

Turner worked with the first team much of the week prior to the regular-season finale against Atlanta, but he failed the final test of the protocol on Saturday. He again worked with the first team this week and passed the final test on Saturday.

He should provide more stability to an offensive line looking to establish the running game to keep Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense off the field. The Saints won the two regular-season meetings against their NFC South rival 34-13 and 31-21.

Left tackle Matt Kalil was listed as questionable on Friday with an illness that sidelined him for two practices. Coach Ron Rivera appeared encouraged that Kalil would play on Sunday, saying he looked good during installation.