Panthers Notebook: Coach Frank Reich Displays Confidence With New Starter Andy Dalton; Jake Luton Named No. 2 With Injured Bryce Young Out ‘1-2 Weeks’

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers

With rookie quarterback Bryce Young out “1-2 weeks,” veteran Andy Dalton has assumed control of the Carolina Panthers.

Young has missed all three practice days since he injured his ankle during Monday night’s 20-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium.

Young struggled in both of his NFL starts. Dalton, with 162 career starts, will take first-series snaps Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks. He will attempt to spark an offense that has produced just two touchdowns during the Panthers’ 0-2 opening.

Veteran QB Andy Dalton Looks To Spark Panthers

A 2011 second-round draft pick by the Cincinnati Bengals, Dalton has turned into a journeyman of sorts over the past five seasons. Playing for his fifth franchise since 2019, Dalton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, has delivered 244 touchdowns and a career rating of 87.6.

With 71 career passes, Young is averaging just 4.2 yards per attempt, one of the lowest totals in the Super Bowl era. His rating is 66.6.

Dalton said Young could benefit from taking a step back and getting a look at the big NFL picture.

“I think there’s two thoughts on that,” Dalton said during Thursday’s press conference. “Yea, you can say it that way. Take a step back … you need to see the game from a different perspective.

“But also, the best thing is playing. Experience is the best thing for you to get better.”

Coach Frank Reich said Young will accompany the Panthers to Seattle. He will study to see how Dalton prepares for the road outing and the way he deals with the often loud and frenzied atmosphere of Lumen Field.

“Bryce has made enough progress that we feel comfortable and he’s been cleared to go on the trip, continue the treatment,” Reich said Friday, as reported by “Even though he can’t play it will just still be good for him to be there in that environment, feel that, and certainly see how Andy operates.

“I’m optimistic that he’s on the right path and that whenever the soonest he can get back is, he will get back. They are saying 1-2 weeks. When he gets back and when he gets cleared, he’s our guy.”

Until then, Dalton said he’s ready to have “fun.”

Frank Reich: ‘This Guy Is Practicing At A High Level’

Dalton started as a backup last year with the Saints, but claimed the starting job after Jamies Winston suffered an injury. Dalton compiled 18 TD passes and a 95.2 QB rating. He came on in relief during stops with the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.

“I’ve played everywhere I’ve been, and I’ve had a significant amount of playing time everywhere,” Dalton said.

Following Sunday’s trip to Seattle, Dalton could also receive a home start against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 1.

Reich has been impressed with the way Dalton has handled the No. 1 offense during practices this week. Out of pads, Young has observed the veteran’s approach all week.

“(Dalton) is practicing at a high level,” Reich said. “In my mind, in my opinion, he’s one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the world.”

With Young ruled out, the Panthers elevated practice-squad QB Jake Luton to the active roster. He’s slated to serve as Dalton’s backup Sunday.

With the Panthers during the offseason, Luton completed 8 of 19 passes for 115 yards, a touchdown, and an interception during the limited preseason action. He was cut Aug. 28 and re-signed Wednesday.

“Feel good about Jake,” Reich said. “Very smart guy, knows the offense. Good chemistry in the room. Confident in Jake and glad he’s here.”

Arrow to top