Thielen’s availability is a plus for a Panthers receiving corps that is already without DJ Chark (hamstring) in Week 1. Young’s remaining options at wideout for Sunday are Laviska Shenault Jr., Terrace Marshall Jr., Ihmir Smith-Marsette and rookie Jonathan Mingo — an inexperienced group that’s brimming with talent.
Carolina brought in Thielen this offseason to be that experienced brain its young WR room can pick at in 2023. His reliable presence also figures to help Young, 2023’s No. 1 overall pick, as the Panthers quarterback is set to make his NFL debut on the road against an NFC South rival.
Thielen, a 33-year-old veteran of nine seasons, had 70 receptions for 716 yards and six touchdowns last season in Minnesota.
As the Panthers are set begin a new era under Reich and Young on Sunday, there remains an outside chance Burns will be a part of it.