Sam Darnold benched in loss, but Panthers coach Matt Rhule said QB will remain starter

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Carolina Panthers benched Sam Darnold in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 25-3 loss to the New York Giants amid the fourth-year veteran's continued struggles.

Darnold was replaced by P.J. Walker, the former XFL standout, in the fourth quarter with the Panthers trailing 15-3.

Darnold completed 16 of 25 passes for 111 yards with one interception before being sidelined. Walker connected on just 3 of 14 passes for 33 yards. Each quarterback took three sacks.

Carolina entered Sunday's game on a three-game losing streak after starting the season 3-0. Darnold had thrown four touchdowns with six interceptions during the losing streak while completing just 54.7% of its passes.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said Darnold would remain the team's starting quarterback for next week's game at the Atlanta Falcons, adding that the did not expect to acquire another quarterback before the Nov. 2 trade deadline.

“His sense of urgency this week, I expect to be heightened,” Rhule said of Darnold. “I try to put that sense of urgency on our coaches. Obviously, it didn’t show up. We have to coach better, but our players have to play better as well. And that starts with the quarterback.”

Said Darnold of the benching: "That’s up to him. Whatever he thinks is the best decision, ultimately that is his decision.''

Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers is sacked by Jabrill Peppers #21 of the New York Giants during the first half in the game at MetLife Stadium on October 24, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers is sacked by Jabrill Peppers #21 of the New York Giants during the first half in the game at MetLife Stadium on October 24, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer acquired Darnold from the New York Jets in an April trade in exchange for second- and fourth-round draft picks in 2022 and a sixth-round selection this year. The team subsequently dealt incumbent starter Teddy Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos and elected not to select a quarterback in the NFL draft despite owning the No. 8 overall selection.

Darnold is owed $18.858 million fully guaranteed in 2022 after the Panthers exercised his fifth-year option.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sam Darnold benched by Panthers, will remain starter moving forward