First they lost rookie QB Matt Corral, and now Sam Darnold suffers a massive injury blow which required him to be carted off during the preseason game he had started against the Buffalo Bills. Darnold went 5/11 for 49 yards, and scored a rushing TD in the Panthers’ shutout victory against Buffalo.
The initial reports are indicating it will likely be a high-ankle sprain, pending an MRI. Given the severity of the images, this would not be the worst outcome and Darnold would be out for 4 to 6 weeks and enter Injury Reserve (IR).
Baker Mayfield had been declared starting QB ahead of week 1
New signing Baker Mayfield had already been declared the week 1 starter for the Carolina Panthers, but the team is now left with with only two healthy QBs: Mayfield and former XFL star P.J. Walker.
Darnold had already expressed his disappointment and being named QB2 by head coach Matt Rhule earlier this week. After the game, Rhule was asked if he would consider bringing in Cam Newton as a replacement. The Carolina head coach seemed opened to the possibility but said “it’s still too early to consider”.
Another injury the Panthers are now dealing with is that of their kicker Zane Gonzalez. He also had to leave on a cart with a groin injury suffered while kicking into the net on the sideline. Gonzalez had suffered a season-ending quad injury last year at Buffalo in December.