Carolina rookie quarterback Bryce Young returned to practice Wednesday after having to sit out all last week due to an ankle injury.
Barring a setback, Young — who missed the Panthers’ previous game against Seattle — is expected to start Carolina’s 1 p.m. home game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.
Young was listed as a full participant in the Panthers’ post-practice team report and took all the reps that the No. 1 QB would normally take. Panthers coach Frank Reich after the workout was completed that Young had looked determined and energetic in practice and was now trending toward starting Sunday.
“Just have to make sure there’s no major setbacks, no flare-ups,” Reich said. “But if he stays on track, then I think things are headed in the right direction.”
Reich had said before practice he was happy with the way Young has dealt with his ankle rehabilitation.
“He obviously wants to be out there,” the coach said of the overall No. 1 draft pick. “And we want him out there, as long as he’s ready to go and play winning football.. ... Credit to Bryce for being ready. I mean really, at the beginning, we were thinking one to two weeks — thinking it could be more two (games that Young would miss). But he’s done everything he can do to get back here.”
Reich cautioned, however, that the doctors, coaches and Young would wait to see how the ankle responds to practicing all week before committing completely to who will start Sunday.
Everyone is in agreement that the QB1 job will be Young’s when he returns, though.
“This is Bryce’s thing,” backup quarterback Andy Dalton said last week.
Reich said Young wouldn’t have to be 100% to play, however.
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