The Carolina Panthers ended their NFL season on a high note with a 21-0 victory against the Buffalo Bills on Friday. Unfortunately, the win wasn't without loss as quarterback Sam Darnold suffered a high-ankle sprain during the third quarter and did not return.
The Panthers now have a timetable after more testing was done. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reports that Darnold will likely be sidelined for the next 4-to-6 weeks and even though more testing will be done, it's looking like the 25-year-old will miss the start of the 2022 campaign.
Sam Darnold Injury Update
This week has been eventful as far as Panthers QBs are concerned. Baker Mayfield was named as the Week 1 regular-season starter just days before it was revealed that rookie Matt Corral needed season-ended surgery to fix a Lisfranc injury before Darnold joined him on the sidelines.
The last year or so has been quite unfortunate for Darnold. The Panthers brought him in as their starting QB last year in hopes of rehabbing his career, only for him to split starting duties with Cam Newton and P.J. Walker. Now, he's playing second fiddle to Mayfield while being sidelined in the process.
Walker is the Panthers' only viable option to serve as Mayfield's backup for the time being. The 2020 XFL passing yards leader has played nine games (two starts) for Carolina over the last two seasons, completing 68-of-122 passes for 730 yards and two touchdowns to eight interceptions.
Hopefully, further testing brings back optimistic results for Darnold. Even though he's had his struggles, he's still the better backup option over Walker should Mayfield run into the injury bug this fall.
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