Baker Mayfield is reportedly leading the competition to be the Panthers starting quarterback in Week 1 of the regular season and it doesn’t look like he’ll be doing anything to impact that battle on Friday night.
That’s also the case for Sam Darnold, who has been competing with Mayfield in training camp. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports that P.J. Walker is expected to start at quarterback when the Panthers face the Patriots in their second preseason game of the summer.
The Panthers are set to go with Walker because they do not plan to play their other first-string players on Friday night. The team had two days of joint practices with the Patriots this week, so they had a lot of opportunities to see the first team in action against an opposing defense.
With Mayfield, Darnold and third-round pick Matt Corral on hand in Carolina, Walker could be the odd man out when it comes to the 53-man roster and a good showing against New England could help him find another spot in the league.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule hasn’t said when he’ll make an official announcement about the starting job, but he did point to the practices with New England as a key milestone in the competition earlier this summer.
UPDATE 11:28 a.m. ET: The Panthers announced Walker will play the first and third quarters with Corral running the offense in the second and fourth quarters.