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Panthers' Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold Will Share 1st-Team Reps Ahead of Patriots Game

Doric SamAugust 15, 2022

Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Ahead of the Carolina Panthers' second preseason game this week, there doesn't appear to be a clear front-runner in the team's quarterback competition.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters Monday that Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will continue to share first-team reps during Carolina's joint practices with the New England Patriots before the two teams meet on Friday.

Mayfield got the start under center on Saturday in Carolina's 23-21 win in the preseason opener against the Washington Commanders. He played only one series and completed four of seven passes for 46 yards. He had a small hiccup when he fumbled a snap in the red zone that resulted in a 3rd-and-14, which he didn't convert before the drive ended with a field goal.

Darnold took over after the Panthers recovered a fumble at Washington's 19-yard line. On his third play, he threw an eight-yard touchdown to Rashard Higgins. He played one more series and finished 2-of-3 for 16 yards.

Both Mayfield and Darnold downplayed their competition after the game Saturday.

"It was my turn to start," Mayfield said. "Just take it one day at a time. Don't be critical of ourselves and try to get better."

Said Darnold: "For me personally, it's doing everything I can with the plays that I have. That's how I've got to take it at this point."

While there isn't much separation between Mayfield and Darnold on the field, determining the starter for this season might come down to their intangibles. ESPN's David Newton recently reported that Mayfield's personality and confidence give him an edge over Darnold in their competition.

"I want them to push the envelope," Panthers offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said of what he wants in a signal-caller. “I don’t want them to be afraid to make mistakes."

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