Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are not taking any risks with superstars Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly, both of whom will not play Friday night against the Buffalo Bills.

As noted by Steve Reed of the Associated Press, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said on Wednesday that both of them would play. however, the decision was not made due to injuries, but rather was made out of caution.

This marks the second week in a row that Rivera told reporters that Newton would play, only to change his mind about it as the game drew near. It is worth pointing out that Newton has been held out of multiple practices due to his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.

Quite honestly, it’s the right move. On Friday, two star defenders on other teams were lost for significant amounts of time due to injuries — one of them being a season-ending injury.

If the Panthers end up losing Newton for any significant amount of time this season, then their title aspirations will likely be sunk. Kuechly is nearly as valuable on defense.

With these two stars, the Panthers have a real shot to make some postseason noise. Without them, they probably would not even make the playoffs.