The Carolina Panthers expect to be without backup quarterback Sam Darnold for a long time because he got a “significant” high ankle sprain in the final preseason game against the Buffalo Bills on Friday night.
Most people need four to six weeks to get better.
Rhule said Saturday, “It’s a big injury that could take a while to heal.” “We can put him on short-term injured reserve if it will keep him out for at least four games.”
Rhule said that Zane Gonzalez’s groin injury, which he got while warming up on the sideline, was “significant and long-term.” This means that Gonzalez might have to miss the rest of the season. Scott Fitterer, the general manager, and Chris Tabor, who is in charge of special teams, are already looking for a new player.
Rhule said, “We have to do something about that.” “That is a big deal for us.”
Darnold had an MRI on Saturday, and the team is getting more opinions to figure out how bad the injury is and whether or not to put him on injured reserve. To be able to come back from injured reserve, Darnold must be on the 53-man roster that will be set on Tuesday.
The Panthers have two quarterbacks on their roster:
Because of the injury, the Panthers have two quarterbacks on their roster: starter Baker Mayfield and former XFL starter P.J. Walker. They will face the Cleveland Browns on September 11.
Rhule said he is confident that Walker, who is 2-0 as a starter over the past two seasons, can back up Mayfield while Darnold gets better. Rhule said that offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and quarterbacks coach Sean Ryan was “really happy” with Walker’s performance on Friday after he had a rough game at New England the week before.
Against the Patriots, Walker had two interceptions and a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown. He then went on to complete 8 of 10 passes for 50 yards without making a mistake.
Rhule said, “When he’s out there, guys play.”
In the third quarter, Bills defensive tackle C.J. Brewer hit Darnold from behind as he moved to his right to throw the ball away. This hurt Darnold. The replay showed that Darnold’s left ankle was rolled over by Brewer. It was the second preseason game in a week in which the Panthers lost a quarterback. Matt Corral, who was picked in the third round, tore his Lisfranc ligament against New England, ending his season.
The Panthers planned to keep three quarterbacks, with Corral expected to be the third behind Mayfield and Darnold. The injury to Corral changed the way people thought about keeping two, but the injury to Darnold forces another change.
Mayfield had a strong performance in the final practice session:
Additionally, Mayfield had a strong performance in the final practice session before the first game against his former squad. He was able to complete 9 of 15 passes for 89 yards and two touchdowns despite the fact that Buffalo’s backup defense was on the field.
During the preseason, Mayfield had a completion percentage of 62.5, throwing for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Rhule said, “He took care of the ball and kept it out of harm’s way.” “At the same time, he wasn’t afraid to throw with a lot of force.”
Mayfield said that he feels “great about this team” as the season starts. “I feel great about the guys up front and the weapons we have at the skill positions, and we haven’t even been out there as a whole unit yet,” he said.
Christian McCaffrey, a running back, didn’t play in any of the three preseason games. This was done to make sure that a player who has missed 23 of his last 33 regular-season games was healthy going into the season.
Mayfield said, “I’m 100 percent sure that this group will help us move forward.”
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