The Carolina Panthers will once again make a quarterback trade, announcing this week that Sam Darnold will start Sunday against the Denver Broncos.
Darnold will be the third different quarterback in as many weeks to start at center for the Panthers, after Baker Mayfield started in Week 11 against the Baltimore Ravens.
PJ Walker started at QB in Weeks 6-10, going 2-3 before suffering an ankle injury.
Mayfield, who beat out Darnold in training camp after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Cleveland Browns, told reporters Wednesday that his future in Carolina is murky.
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“There’s a lot of things in the air for the future here, so I really don’t know,” Mayfield said. “I am doing what I can, what I can control. I know how my teammates feel about me and how I’ve handled things here. So, I can leave here with my head held high and understand that I did everything I could.
Mayfield started the first five games of the 2022 season for the Panthers, going 1-4 before spraining a high ankle, causing him to miss several games.
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Against the Ravens, Mayfield passed for just 196 yards with no touchdowns, being intercepted twice in the fourth quarter of the 13-3 loss.
“It’s a crazy year,” Mayfield said. “There are many strange things happening [at quarterback around the league]. . . . The quarterback room has pretty much handled it to the best of its ability, rolling with the punches. We’re just doing what we’re told.”
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Darnold missed the first 10 weeks of the season with a sprained ankle of his own after starting 11 games last year.
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“I’m excited to play soccer,” Darnold said, according to The Charlotte Observer. “I’m excited to be able to get out there and play with the guys. The most important thing for me is to play consistently and take what I’m given. I think that’s going to be the story of the day on Sunday and I’m excited to get out there and do what I can to help this team to win.”
It has a tumultuous season for the Panthers, who fired head coach Matt Rhule five games into the regular season.