The new injury concern surrounding Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young is the icing on their cake of misery to begin the 2023 campaign.
Wednesday's injury report brought fresh worry for Carolina Panthers fans. Just one day after veteran linebacker Shaq Thompson was placed on injured/reserve, quarterback Bryce Young missed practice with an ankle complication suffered on Monday Night Football against the New Orleans Saints.
Young seemed to be moving well enough on the game's final play, so perhaps it's more of a maintenance issue than anything else. However, head coach Frank Reich's omission that he wasn't sure if the No. 1 overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft would suit up only heightened concerns.
Carolina Panthers unsure about Bryce Young's status for Week 3
If the former Alabama star cannot shake off the complication, the Panthers will turn to Andy Dalton as the starter. He came in for one short yardage snap to many people's surprise in Week 2, but Reich appears confident in his ability to ensure no momentum is lost based on his comments via USA Today Sports.
"If Andy’s the starter, we got a lot of confidence. This is why you bring someone like Andy in. Our goal is to put our team in position to win championships. And even despite a tough start—that’s still our vision, that’s still our goal, that’s what we’re working towards. And my experience personally, as a player and as a coach, is that you’re gonna need somebody for one game or two or three or somewhere along the line. And you’re gonna need to win those games. And if Andy plays, we believe he gives us a very good chance to win."- Frank Reich via USA Today Sports
Hopefully, Young can participate. With three established starters already on the shelf long-term, losing Carolina's new face of the franchise for even a brief period would be disastrous.
Dalton is steady enough - even if his best days are long gone. This is also a big part of the reason he was acquired by the Panthers - to provide a stable presence under enter until Young is ready to return in the event injury strikes.
Still, this does nothing to enhance Carolina's chances of finally getting their 2023 season on track at the Seattle Seahawks. The Panthers are already 6.0-point underdogs for the clash according to FanDuel Sportsbook, which could rise further depending on Young's status.
This is obviously something for fans to monitor extremely closely in the coming days before Friday's final injury report. The Panthers will take every possible precaution to avoid any long-term complications, but Young will be eager to get back onto the field and help his team secure a much-needed success against decent opposition on the road.
Of course, the news will do nothing to calm down some sections of the fanbase on social media who've been steadily losing the plot over the first fortnight. Panic stations are firmly setting in, but adopting a wait-and-see approach until something is confirmed one way or another represents the best course of action.
It's been a luckless opening to the campaign for the Panthers in terms of results and health. If Young was ruled out for only his third-ever regular-season start, it would be the icing on top of Carolina's misery cake so far.
All fans can do is pray and hope for the best.