For the first time in more than a week, Bryce Young was back on the practice field and participating in full.
The No. 1-overall pick was sidelined both in practice and when the Carolina Panthers lost to the Seattle Seahawks due to an ankle injury he suffered in Week 2.
This news comes as a breath of fresh air for the Panthers, who traded up from No. 9 to the top spot in this year's draft to select their quarterback of the future. Coach Frank Reich, who is in his first season in Carolina, spoke positively about Young's status ahead of Wednesday's session.
"He's made good progress," Reich told Panthers Wire ahead of the practice. "I think he feels better. But there's nothing like getting out on the field. I know he tested it a little yesterday. He did some things. But there's nothing like gettin' out on the field and going through a practice. So, we'll get him out there and credit to Bryce for being ready.
"Really, at the beginning, we were thinkin' one to two weeks, thinkin' it could be more, too. But he's done everything he can do to get back here. And he, obviously, wants to be out there. We want him out there, as long as he's ready to go and play winning football. So, we'll see what he can get done out there today and see how he responds to it, and then know more tomorrow."
Even though the Panthers are winless through the first three games, Young and the offense have a chance to shine against the porous Vikings' passing defense. Minnesota has allowed the third-most passing touchdowns (seven) in the NFL, so this could be an opportunity for Young to show off more of his arm.
In two games, Young has thrown for 299 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and completed 59.2 percent of his passes. The Heisman Trophy winner has also carried the ball five times for 51 yards.
After practice, Reich said via the pool report the team is monitoring how the ankle responds to Young being back on the field.
"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.
"First thing I would say is hats off to Bryce for getting himself ready to get out there today. You could see the determination in his eyes. You could feel his energy and the will to be out there.''