Carolina Panthers Rookie Quarterback Bryce Young to Miss Week 3

Posted on: September 22, 2023, 10:17h. 

Last updated on: September 22, 2023, 11:10h.

Rookie quarterback Bryce Young is nursing an ankle injury and he’s not expected to start for the Carolina Panthers against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3. Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton will start for the Panthers if Young doesn’t suit up against the Seahawks.

Panthers Bryce Young
Quarterback Bryce Young, seen here calling an audible against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2, will miss time with an ankle injury. (Image: Getty)

The Panthers traded up in the 2023 NFL Draft to acquire the #1 pick from the Chicago Bears to specifically select Young with the first pick. Young, who played his collegiate ball with the Alabama Crimson Tide, was the top quarterback prospect in the draft. The Panthers were excited to rebuild their team and reboot the franchise around Young.

The Panthers were 7-10 last season, and three different quarterbacks started games for them in 2022. Sam Darnold went down with an injury in the preseason, and Baker Mayfield began the season at quarterback. P.J. Walker started five games after Mayfield suffered a high ankle sprain. Mayfield returned as the starter in Week 11 but was eventually cut.

Frank Reich took over as head coach after the Panthers failed to produce a winning season under former head coach Matt Rhule, who was fired last October after a 1-4 start.

Reboots take time, and the Panthers began the season 0-2. They’re currently in last place in the NFC South.

Young Struggled Before Ankle Injury

The Panthers were outscored 44-27 through Week 2. Their 17-point differential is the second-worst in the NFC.

“Our struggle on offense, it’s not one person,” said Reich. “It’s not that far away,” said a confident Reich. “It looks bad, but I don’t believe it’s that far away.”

The Panthers scored only 10 points in Young’s NFL debut against the Falcons in Atlanta in Week 1. Young played like a rookie and looked lost in his first pro game. He went 20-for-36, passing for 146 yards. He tossed one touchdown but also threw two interceptions and was sacked twice.

In Week 2, the Panthers scored 17 points in a 20-17 loss against the Saints in their home debut in Charlotte on “Monday Night Football.” Young completed 22-for-33 passes for 153 yards and one touchdown. He avoided throwing an interception but was sacked four times. He added 34 rushing yards on two scrambles.

Obviously we didn’t do enough offensively,” said Young after the loss to the Saints. “Their defense definitely got the best of us.”

Young sustained an ankle injury in the first half but didn’t inform the medical staff or his coaches, and remained in the game.

Young didn’t practice this week, and all signs point toward him sitting out Week 3. If he bounces back from his ankle injury, Young will return in Week 4 when the Panthers host the Minnesota Vikings.

Young has the second-worst passing rating in the NFL at 66.6. He’s ranked #27 in ESPN’s Total QBR with 35.5.

“I know how hard it is to play that position,” added Reich. “I’ve been around it a long time and I know how dependent it is on everything.”

Andy Dalton Ready to Start for Panthers

The Panthers want to protect Young, which is why they’re taking a cautious approach and will let his ankle injury heal instead of rushing him back into the lineup. The Panthers played on “Monday Night Football” and have one less day to prep for this week’s road game against the Seahawks. Reich will turn to Dalton to start instead of Young.

“This is Bryce’s thing,” Dalton told The Athletic. “I’m not here to make this a competition, make this anything. I’m here to help the team.”

The Panthers signed Dalton in the off-season to mentor Young, and as an overall insurance policy. Dalton, a former star with the Cincinnati Bengals, started 162 games during 12 seasons in the NFL. He has an 83-77-2 record as a starter, and started 14 games for the New Orleans Saints last season.

Dalton is widely considered one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL, along with Gardner Minshew from the Indianapolis Colts. Minshew will start for the Colts in Week 3 because rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson suffered a concussion in Week 2.

AD’s still got it,” said Panthers center Bradley Bozeman. “The Ginger Cat has been rocking and rolling this whole time and that is why he is here. He’s a great leader and no matter who is in at quarterback, whether it is him or Bryce, they are going to be ready.”

“I’m just going out there and trying to be as efficient as I can,” added Dalton.

Dalton was 6-8 as a starter for the Saints last season when Jameis Winston went down with a back injury. Dalton completed 66.7% of his passes for 2,871 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Betting the 0-2 Panthers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFC South last season with a losing record, which seemed fitting because it was one of the worst divisions in the NFL. After Tom Brady retired, the Bucs were no longer the team to beat in the NFC South.

The Panthers (0-2) are in last place in the division while the Bucs, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints are in a three-way tie for first place with a 2-0 record. The winless Panthers are 0-1-1 against the point spread this season. They pushed last week’s game against the Saints as a +3 home underdog.

The Panthers opened Week 3 as a +4.5 road underdog versus the Seahawks. Early money backed the Seahawks, and the Panthers are now a +6 dog.

The Seahawks are 1-1 straight up and 1-1 ATS. They lost their home opener against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2 but bounced back with a 37-31 road victory against the Detroit Lions in Week 2.

Oddsmakers installed the Panthers with a win total of 7.5 over/under in the preseason. After losing two games to start the season, the Panthers have an adjusted win total of 5.5 o/u.

The Panthers are a long shot to make the playoffs at +700 odds, and they’re a favorite to miss the postseason at -1200 odds.

The Saints are the favorite to win the NFC South at +115 odds, followed by the Falcons (+175), Bucs (+400), and Panthers (+2200).

The Panthers are a long shot to win Super Bowl LVIII at +20000 odds. The Panthers are the next-to-last team at the bottom of the futures board to win the NFC Championship at +10000 odds.