CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young is on track to return as the starter for Sunday's home game against the Minnesota Vikings, barring a setback with his sprained right ankle over the next couple of days, coach Frank Reich said Wednesday.
Young, who missed Sunday's 37-27 loss at Seattle on Sunday, participated fully in Wednesday's practice. It was his first practice since suffering a mild ankle sprain in a Week 2 Monday night loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The ankle was taped when Young arrived for practice but didn't hinder his workload or performance.
"The big thing right now is to see how he responds [Thursday],'' Reich said. "Because it was good work today. Just have to make sure there's no major setbacks, no flare-ups. But if he stays on track, then I think things are headed in the right direction.''
Young missed only one start in three years at Alabama. That was with a sprained throwing shoulder for an early-season game against Texas A&M.
He made the trip to Seattle, where he told Reich the ankle was getting better every day.
"First thing I would say is hats off to Bryce for getting himself ready to get out there today,'' Reich said. "You could see the determination in his eyes. You could feel his energy and the will to be out there.''
Andy Dalton started against Seattle, completing 34 of 58 attempts for 361 yards and two touchdowns in the loss that dropped Carolina to 0-3 for the first time since the 2010 season. He had no interceptions.
Young completed 42 of 71 pass attempts for 299 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He had only one completion of 20-plus yards against Atlanta and New Orleans. Dalton had four against Seattle.
Reich said he would be comfortable playing Young even if he wasn't 100%.
"Credit Bryce for being ready early,'' Reich said. "We were thinking one to two weeks, and it could be more than two. He's done everything he could to get back here.
"He obviously wants to be out there. We want him to be out there. [He'll play] as long as he's ready to go and play winning football.''