The Carolina Panthers’ rookie quarterback Bryce Young returned to practice on Wednesday after being out since Week 2 with an ankle injury. According to the team’s head coach Frank Reich, Young is progressing well in his return and might start on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Young sprained his ankle in a 17-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 2 and didn’t practice at all until Wednesday.
“The big thing right now is to see how he responds,” Reich told the reporters. “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.”
Panthers selected Young with the first-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, believing he could be the franchise quarterback they have been missing since Cam Newton left the franchise. However, the Alabama product has struggled to make an impact at the start of his pro career. He completed just 59.2% of his passes while throwing for 299 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the first two games of the season.
Veteran backup Andy Dalton played well as Young’s replacement in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, finishing the game with 361 yards and two TDs. However, the Panthers view this season as an opportunity for Young to get accustomed to the NFL and want to play him even if Dalton gives them a better chance of winning games.