Last season, former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule integrated a highly-questionable (and highly-criticized) two-quarterback system—where he’d alternate between Sam Darnold and Cam Newton during games. Well, get ready for it again . . . or at least a version of it.
On Wednesday, interim head coach Steve Wilks told reporters that he plans on getting Darnold live reps at some point this year. But he’s not quite sure of exactly when that’ll happen.
“I think it’s just trying to pick and choose the flow of the game,” Wilks said. “It’s something that I mentioned to those guys the other day—with Baker. If it happens—just giving him warning that ‘I’m not pulling him, I just wanna be able to give Sam some opportunities. Because the first time he goes in there, I don’t want it to be the first time. So I wanna be able to get him acclimated a little bit to the speed of the game. As I mentioned before, he hasn’t really played live since last year.”
Darnold, who sustained a high-ankle sprain in the preseason finale against the Buffalo Bills, began the 2022 campaign on injured reserve. After missing the first 10 games, he’ll be set to back up starter Baker Mayfield for Sunday’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
Wilks, however, would add that his decision-making process has a clear priority—and that’s to win.
“I’m interested in winning the game,” he said. “So, whatever it takes to win the game. It’s not pay $250 and you get to play. So, we’re gonna see exactly how it goes this week.”