3 major storylines following the Carolina Panthers into Week 4 vs. Vikings

These are the major storylines following Carolina into the Week 4 contest.

C.J. Henderson
C.J. Henderson / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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Return of Carolina Panthers QB Bryce Young

When Bryce Young appeared on the Week 3 injury report with his ankle complication, subsequently being ruled out, it was said he could potentially miss a fortnight of action. The rookie looks to have done everything in his power to hit the early portion of the timeline and is ready to suit up for Week 4 after practicing in full all week.

That’s terrific news for Young and for this offense, despite some fans and pundits insinuating the Carolina Panthers may be more potent with Andy Dalton at the position. I thank the veteran backup for his admirable work last week, and I warmly welcome him back to his clipboard.

After seeing 58 passes attempted and some downfield shots taken by the offense, there are reasons to predict a productive showing from Young this week against the Minnesota Vikings. In part due to the glimmers of hope last week, but also thanks to the opposition's defensive profile this season.

According to StatMuse, the Vikings rank No. 26 in points allowed, No. 27 in total yards allowed, No. 24 in pass yards allowed, and No. 28 in pass yards per completion. Sounds like the ingredients to a more aggressive, opened-up approach from Frank Reich and this offense to me.

With Dalton starting, the Panthers didn’t run a single run-pass option concept at the Seattle Seahawks. They also only executed play action on six percent of offensive snaps. Both of those situations should be different with Young back out there.

D.J. Chark looks to be fully healthy and effective, as he demonstrated with his 4-86-1 stat line against the Seahawks. The connection between Young and the wideout through the offseason program was a main source of optimism for their outlooks and I look forward to seeing that in motion this week.

Of course, the Adam Thielen revenge game arc is also firmly in play here.

Thielen spent the first nine years of his career with the Vikings before signing with the Panthers as a free agent this offseason. The perception seemed to be that the veteran wideout had seen his skills diminish enough that he was no longer integral to Kevin O'Connell's offensive success.

You can’t help but think that this Panthers team, and Young specifically, will have added motivation to show up for their teammate and look to build off his impressive 11-145-1 showing last week.