No. 1 pick Bryce Young not expected to play as Panthers brace for Seahawks

Field Level Media

September 21, 2023 at 11:53 pm.

The Carolina Panthers’ 20-17 loss to visiting New Orleans on Monday night turned out to be especially painful.

Linebacker Shaq Thompson, the leader of the Panthers defense, sustained a broken right leg that will sideline him for the rest of the season. That means he won’t be making a homecoming trip for Sunday’s game at Seattle, where he starred for the University of Washington.

Carolina rookie quarterback Bryce Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft in April, is also hurting. He didn’t participate in practice Wednesday or Thursday because of an ankle injury, leading the Panthers to announce that Young is not expected to play against the Seahawks (1-1).

Veteran Andy Dalton will start for the Panthers (0-2) in Young’s absence.

“We have some general principles that we operated by, not absolutes, that we say, ‘Hey, how many days of practices are needed for a younger player to play?'” Panthers coach Frank Reich said. “If he’s a younger player, maybe you want him to practice a little bit more.”

Dalton, in his 13th NFL season, is 83-77-2 as a starter during his career. He spent nine seasons in Cincinnati before one-year stops in Dallas, Chicago and New Orleans.

Panthers running back Miles Sanders said Dalton is well-prepared.

“It would actually be kind of a dream come true to play with Andy,” Sanders said. “Me being from Pittsburgh and being a Steelers fan, I know what Andy can do (having played with the Bengals). So yeah, it would be an honor playing with him.”

Sanders (pectoral) was one of four players listed as limited Wednesday, along with linebacker Brian Burns (ankle), Justin Houston (calf) and Chandler Wooten (knee). Wooten returned as a full participant Thursday.

Replacing Thompson, who had surgery Tuesday to fix a fractured fibula, won’t be as easy. Reich said it’s hard to put into words how much Thompson brings to the Panthers, calling him a team player and “a warrior, a guy who knows how to practice.”

The Seahawks evened their record with a 37-31 overtime victory Sunday at Detroit, as Tyler Lockett scored the winner on a 6-yard pass from Geno Smith.

“We just had to go out there and kind of put the past behind us,” Smith said. “Last week is last week, has nothing to do with this week, and go out there and play ball, and it wasn’t perfect (Sunday), but we found a way to win, and that’s what matters.”

The Seahawks also have injury concerns. They might be without starting cornerback Riq Woolen, who suffered a chest injury in the first half against the Lions and didn’t return.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Woolen was “pretty sore” and would need to make significant strides to be ready Sunday.

Carroll said safety Jamal Adams will practice fully this week, but no decision will be made until closer to the weekend on whether he’ll make his return from a torn quadriceps tendon sustained in the 2022 season opener.

Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (shoulder) missed practice this week, and rookie defensive lineman Mike Morris was placed on injured reserve and needs season-ending shoulder surgery.