Panthers expected to name Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback for Week 1, per report

Panthers expected to name Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback for Week 1, per report

Published August 19, 2022
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The Carolina Panthers opened up training camp with a quarterback battle on their hands. Through a few weeks of camp, a preseason game, and joint practices with the Patriots, it appears head coach Matt Rhule is zeroing in on his decision. 

Of course, things did seem to be trending this way for quite some time. Even when the Panthers acquired Mayfield in a trade with the Cleveland Browns in early July, the general expectation was that he’d have the inside track to start out of the gate over incumbent Sam Darnold, who failed to impress in 2021 after he was brought in from New York. 

That has since proven to be the case with Mayfield getting the start in the Panthers preseason opener and the former No. 1 overall pick played well during his brief showing. He finished his day 4-of-7 passing for 45 yards and led Carolina on a 13-play opening drive that culminated in a field goal. 

Both Mayfield and Darnold did split first-team reps during camp, but it’s been Mayfield who has pulled away. Last week, Rhule commended Mayfield’s progress within the offense after just 10 days of training camp, calling it “pretty impressive.” Rhule has noted that he won’t officially make a decision likely until after the Panthers’ Week 2 preseason matchup with the Patriots on Friday, but — by this latest reporting — all signs lead to Mayfield.