The Panthers took as much time as they could before making a call about their starting quarterback on Sunday.
Head coach Matt Rhule, team owner David Tepper and a group of others watched Teddy Bridgewater go through pregame warmups before deciding his knee wasn’t well enough to play against the Lions. Rhule said Bridgewater looked good and wanted to play, but didn’t think he was ready “in my gut.”
That meant P.J. Walker got the start and he helped the team to a 20-0 win by going 24-of-34 for 258 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a pair of interceptions, but making his first NFL start still felt like a dream come true for the former XFLer.
“I spoke with my mom about the whole situation, and she told me to go be me, go play the game,” Walker said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “This is something I’ve been dreaming about my whole life. So for her to just give me some words of encouragement, to go out there and not think the moment’s too big. Just do what you do. You belong here. That’s something she always told me, that you belong in this place, and go make the best of it.”
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Panthers and they’ll try to keep things going against the Vikings in Week 12. It sounds like Bridgewater should be ready for that one, but the Panthers should have some more confidence in what Walker can do if called upon after Sunday.