Panthers News: Bryce Young, rankings slip, Austin Corbett and Jonathan Mingo

Austin Corbett
Austin Corbett / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers
Austin Corbett / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers preparing for Austin Corbett absence

Acquiring Chandler Zavala during the 2023 NFL Draft provided the Carolina Panthers with an insurance policy across their offensive line. Brady Christensen is expected to make a full return in time for the regular season, but the recovery of Austin Corbett is less certain after tearing his ACL in their Week 18 finale against the New Orleans Saints.

Corbett has been detailing his rehabilitation on the team's website and it's clear that a long process awaits. The right guard was among Carolina's best free-agent signings last season and losing him for a considerable period would be a body blow.

However, the possibility is a realistic one. While head coach Frank Reich didn't put a specific timeline on Corbett's return, he did indicate that some in-season time would be missed.

"I don't want to go into the exact timeline. You know, Brady should be good. You know, obviously, Austin is going to be into the season a little bit more. So we'll take that. We'll address that as we get closer with that. Yes. He will miss some regular season time."

Frank Reich via Sports Illustrated

This was almost inevitable given the severity of the complication. ACL tears normally take a year or more to make a full recovery, which could mean Corbett misses a few games if not more depending on how things unfold for the player.

Only time will tell, obviously. But the early positivity was held in check by Reich, who basically said to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.