The Carolina Panthers are not only 0-2, but now they have questions at quarterback the coaching staff must address on a short work week.
Bryce Young, the struggling rookie starter, sat out Wednesday’s walk-through with an ankle injury, which he indicated he injured during Monday’s 20-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Young finished his home debut and guided the offense to its lone touchdown during a two-minute drive, hitting Adam Thielen on a 3-yard pass.
Coach Frank Reich remains uncertain if Young will be able to start Sunday’s matchup at the Seattle Seahawks (1-1).
“Monday night, I just heard that he had been in for treatment,” Reich said, as reported by Panthers.com. “It wasn’t until Tuesday – I don’t think much of the Monday night treatment thing, just OK, I see the injury report and see who came in for treatment – I don’t make much of it until it’s 24 hours later, next day, we’ll see how they respond. And then he was still on there.”
In his opening two starts, Young is averaging just 4.2 yards per pass attempt, the fewest of any quarterback in the Super Bowl era, according to NFL Research.
Backup Andy Dalton handled first-team duties Wednesday. As insurance, the Panthers also added QB Jake Luton to the practice squad.
Also appearing on the injury report Wednesday, outside linebackers Brian Burns (ankle) and Justin Houston (calf), running back Miles Sanders (pectoral) and linebacker Chandler Wooten (knee) were each listed as limited, while outside linebacker Amaré Barno (thigh) was a full participant.
In preparation for Seahawks, the Panthers are slated to stage a full practice Thursday.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 20, 2023
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill Replaces Shaq Thompson, Thrives
When nearly the entire team walked off the bench to greet injured Shaq Thompson as he was carted off the Bank of America Stadium field Monday, Kamu Grugier-Hill was called upon to replace one of the defense’s emotional leaders. He made an impression with Reich.
Grugier-Hill compiled six tackles, including five solo, and a sack against the Saints. The 29-year-old earned the team’s fifth-highest grade (76.7), according to Pro Football Focus. Thompson suffered a broken fibula and endured a season-ending injury.
Reich indicated during Tuesday’s Zoom call that the coaching staff will huddle and form a new game plan before Sunday.
“We’ll probably address that as we go here this week,” Reich said. “I’m not ready to lay out exactly what that’s going to be at this point. We’ll look at all options. We have an initial plan in mind.”
The Panthers also elevated former Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, adding depth to the unit.
On Grugier-Hill, Reich added: “He played very well. He came in there and did a good job. That did not surprise me at all. I know Kamu. I’ve worked with Kamu before and as I’ve mentioned before, he’s played some football. I coached against him when he was a starting linebacker for Houston. I have a lot of respect for what he did yesterday.”
Grugier-Hill also plays special teams and Reich told WSOC-TV, “if he plays every snap, he’s earned it.”
Kamu finding his way there 😤 pic.twitter.com/szrPr1AXDb
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 19, 2023