The Carolina Panthers were without starting quarterback Bryce Young for their Week 3 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Young missed the game because of an ankle injury that was suffered on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints the week prior.
There was optimism about his progress last week as Young was cleared to travel with the Panthers for the game. That positivity has continued into this week as the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is on track to play in Week 4 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Young was a full participant in the Panthers’ practice on Wednesday, which is a great sign for his availability this weekend. “I think the big thing right now is to see how he responds tomorrow,” coach Frank Reich said. “Because it was good work today. Just have to make sure there’s no major setbacks, no flare-ups. But if he stays on track, then I think things are headed in the right direction.”
Young took part as he would without any injury, which makes it seem like he will be under center again this weekend. Andy Dalton will return to his role as the backup behind the Alabama product if that is the case.
Dalton played well in Young’s absence, completing 34-of-58 pass attempts for 361 yards and two touchdowns. However, some of the issues that Young has been plagued with, such as inconsistent offensive line play, impacted Dalton as well, who was sacked three times.
The veteran Dalton could have made history in Week 3 but it would not have impacted the Panthers’ decision about their starting quarterback going forward. Reich made it clear that Young would reassume the starting role once he was healthy as the team didn’t name him the starter to change course now.
This is a good time for Young to get back on the field as the Vikings present him a chance to get going through the air. Through two games he has completed 42-of-71 passes for only 299 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Minnesota blitzes at a high rate but rarely creates pressure, providing Young and the Panthers a chance to move the ball through the air.