Panthers News: Bryce Young, Laviska Shenault, Shaq Thompson and Hayden Hurst

Shaq Thompson
Shaq Thompson / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages
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Which Carolina Panthers news stories are hitting the headlines as the final organized team activities of the second phase is officially on deck?

Just like that, another round of Carolina Panthers' organized team activities is almost in the books. It's been a fascinating few days for everyone across the franchise as players and coaches get further familiarized with the scheme and leave what will hopefully be a strong impression heading into the weekend.

Just one more OTA block is scheduled from June 6-8 before Carolina's mandatory minicamp, and the news keeps coming. Among the topics causing debate recently include Hayden Hurst's status, Shaq Thompson's decision to stay, how the Panthers plan to utilize Laviska Shenault Jr., and Bryce Young's swagger.

Let's delve into each topic in more detail.

Carolina Panthers TE set to return

There was some good news for the Carolina Panthers as head coach Frank Reich confirmed that free-agent signing Hayden Hurst is stepping up his recovery from a sports hernia complication on Friday. It won't be anything physical and the tight end will be running routes against air, but it's a big step in the right direction nonetheless.

When asked about what the Panthers have in store, Hurst stated via Augusta Stone from the team's website that his big goal is to play 17 games in 2023. Something that he was unable to accomplish with the Cincinnati Bengals last time around.

"(I'm) just going through mechanically figuring out how to run healthy and all that stuff again. But should be in walkthrough and routes on air tomorrow. So it's fun to get back out there, get back in the mix. It's important to get out there, obviously knock the rust off and things like that. I think that's what spring ball is for. But my goal right now is to get healthy. I want to play in all 17 games. I didn't do it last year, and it's a big goal of mine this year. So I'm just focused on getting healthy."

Hayden Hurst via

Reich and Thomas Brown's scheme looks to be more tight-end friendly than previous regimes. Hurst and others also have a supremely accurate quarterback in Bryce Young, which is another significant benefit that leaves reasons for encouragement.