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Panthers’ Matt Rhule Addresses Baker Mayfield’s Status as Starter

Sports Illustrated 10/3/2022 Daniel Chavkin
© Provided by Sports Illustrated

Carolina is 1-3 to begin the season, and Sam Darnold is eligible to return from injured reserve.

Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield has gotten off to a slow start this season, but it appears that he will get the chance to bounce back. Carolina coach Matt Rhule said Mayfield will remain the team’s starting quarterback for the time being.

“I think Baker’s our quarterback,” Rhule said during his Monday press conference. “We have to continue to find ways to help him and help the other guys.”

Through four games, Mayfield has accumulated 747 passing yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions. But he also has a substandard 54.7% completion percentage and leads the league in tipped passes.

Carolina’s quarterback depth chart took a hit before the season began, as veteran backup Sam Darnold and third-round rookie Matt Corral both suffered serious injuries. Corral is out for the season, and even though Darnold is now eligible to return from injured reserve, he is not yet healed from the high ankle sprain.

“Sam’s not cleared right now,” Rhule said. “[He’s] not close right now.”

The Panthers’ current backup quarterback is P.J. Walker, who played for Rhule at Temple University. Over the past two seasons with Carolina, Walker has played in nine games and recorded 730 passing yards with two touchdowns and eight interceptions.

In the next three weeks, the Panthers are facing three games against teams that made the playoffs last year, starting with the 49ers at home next week. Carolina travels to play the Rams in Week 6 and is slated to host the Buccaneers in Week 7.

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