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Panthers Finally Announce QB Plans for Preseason Opener

Devon Platana
The Carolina Panthers have finally announced their quarterback plans for Saturday's preseason opener.
The Carolina Panthers have finally announced their quarterback plans for Saturday's preseason opener. / AP Photo/Nell Redmond

The Carolina Panthers open their NFL preseason when they visit the Washington Commanders on Saturday. Fans have been wondering this week which quarterback — Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield — would start for the Panthers and, fortunately, they received their answers just hours before the game.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Mayfield will start under center against the Commanders. The 27-year-old veteran QB was acquired from the Cleveland Browns back in July for a 2024 conditional fifth-round draft pick.

Panthers Roster News

Going with Mayfield against the Commanders is a great decision by head coach Matt Rhule. The Panthers' QB room was an absolute disaster last year, running with three different gunslingers. If Rhule and co. want to avoid similar results, running with Mayfield should help immensely.

Mayfield played the 2021 season with a torn labrum but has made a full recovery. Even with his injury, the former 2018 No. 1 pick still completed 253 passes for 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. It wasn't his best showing, but it was still better than what the Panthers worked with.

Even though Mayfield is being given the start on Saturday, he'll need a strong performance to solidify himself as Carolina's starting QB. He's still in a "competition" with Darnold, however, it's hard to imagine him being a legitimate option after last year's abysmal performance.

Nevertheless, Rhule said earlier in training camp that he won't name his Week 1 regular-season starter until after next week's exhibition game against the New England Patriots. Only time will tell if Mayfield's showing in Washington will be enough to give him the edge.

Panthers vs. Commanders Odds

The Panthers vs. Panthers matchup is one of two 1 p.m. ET games on Saturday. For now, FanDuel Sportsbook is listing Washington as the 3-point home favorite with -110 odds to cover the spread.

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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel