There are numerous reports that the Atlanta Falcons will play the Carolina Panthers on Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season. However, there is some doubt that Bryce Young will be the guy under center.
Last week Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer told Mike Florio in an interview that there is “no timeline” for playing Young.
“If Andy’s [Dalton] the guy to start the season, and he’s the starter right now heading into the season, then he’ll be the guy," Fitterer said. "When Bryce is ready or Matt Corral is ready whoever it may be, that’ll be the time they go in.”
However, Panthers beat reporter for The Athletic, Joe Person, joined The Morning Shift Thursday and told Tiffany, Mike, and Beau that he’s not convinced Andy Dalton will be the Week 1 starter.
“Yeah, I'm not buying that,” Person said.
Person isn’t sure if this is a smoke-screen tactic from the Panthers, the Panthers trying to take pressure off of Bryce Young, or just an “old coaches, old GM’s deal” from Carolina where they are making everyone on the team earn their spot, Young included.
Regardless of what the motivation is behind Fitterer’s statements, Person says “I fully expect him to be the Week 1 starter." Most people close to the Panthers probably feel the same way.
As far as the Falcons potentially playing the Panthers in Mercedes-Benz Stadium to open the season, Person believes it would be “cool to have Bryce Young down in Atlanta for Week 1."
Person also admits that Week 1 would be a favorable time for the Falcons to play the Panthers because if Young is the starter that would obviously be his first NFL regular season start. The Falcons could take advantage of his inexperience.
The NFL schedule will officially be released Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, and we will find out if the reports and rumors are true that the Falcons and Panthers will match up Week 1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But the wait to find out who the Panthers starting quarterback will be to start the season will probably be a little longer.