NFL Rumors: Carolina Panthers Quarterback Bryce Young to Miss Week 3

Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young's rookie season is off to a rough start. The first overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft has yet to practice this week after suffering an ankle injury during Monday's 20-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints, and's Darin Gantt does not expect him to play in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks.

Young played end-to-end on Monday Night Football, but absorbed four sacks in a punishing game. For the season, he has averaged a miserable 3.45 net yards per attempt and 116.5 net passing yards per game over two losing starts. As a result, the Panthers rank last in the league in both categories.

Young's draft status ensures he's the centrepiece of at least the near future for the Panthers, so it's for the best that the team is prioritizing his health. Given Young's struggles so far, the Panthers may be better off starting backup Andy Dalton, anyway.

Typically, a franchise could benefit from allowing their young quarterback to learn the ropes in his rookie season, but the Panthers are in an unusual spot. In trading up to take Young with the first pick, the Panthers surrendered their 2024 first-round pick to the Chicago Bears. A disastrous season and the top pick that goes along with it heading to Chicago would be a bad look for the Panthers.

Still, the Panthers can't worry about sunk costs. Unless the Panthers truly believe they're ready to compete, their priority should be preserving Young's future prospects. That means protecting him from not only injury but a roster that isn't ready to support him. Starting Dalton until Young can play his best ball is in the Panthers' best interest. Even if that takes until 2024.   

Photo Credit: © Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports