Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers
Sam Darnold will be making his first start for the Panthers this 2022 NFL season on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images


  • The Panthers have name Sam Darnold as their starting quarterback against the Broncos
  • Darnold will play for the first time as the primary play-caller this NFL season
  • Baker Mayfield continues to learn the ropes, struggling to make a difference for Carolina

The Carolina Panthers continue to look for a stable play-caller to lead them, and it appears head coach Steve Wilks will be going with an old face against the Denver Broncos this coming Sunday, November 27.

The Panthers announced that they will be banking on Sam Darnold against the Broncos this weekend, the first start of the 25-year-old NFL player this 2022-23 season.

This also means that offseason acquisition Baker Mayfield will continue to serve as the Panthers' backup.

The 27-year-old has not exactly panned out for Carolina, a reason why Wilks opted to use P.J. Walker over him.

Unfortunately, Walker has been sidelined due to an ankle injury.

Left with a decision on who to be the starting play-caller for the Broncos, Wilks opted to go with Darnold.

Coming off an injury, it will be interesting if Darnold can maintain or do better as the Panthers' primary quarterback this NFL season as he had 11 starts last season with Carolina finishing with a 5-12 win-loss record.

Darnold, unfortunately, suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason, forcing him on the injured reserve.

When Mayfield came over, many saw both play-callers competing for the job with pundits believing Mayfield had the edge.

However, Mayfield continues to struggle and has not been effective for the Panthers. It is the same reason why Wilks opted to use Walker over him.

Based on the latest decision, it appears that the 53-year-old coach is not yet ready to take a chance once more with Mayfield.

Darnold was expected to miss four to six weeks with the Panthers expecting him to return from the injured reserve in mid-October.

Carolina had 21 days to activate him, and they waited until November 7 to do so.

For Darnold, it will be the first time he would be starting again for the Panthers since January 9 when Carolina lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to end their 2021 season.

Carolina is coming off a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, 3-13, on Sunday, November 20.

In the game, Mayfield had two passes intercepted and failed to get the Panthers into the end zone.

Baker Mayfield
Baker Mayfield continues to struggle since moving to Carolina from Cleveland. Getty Images | Brian Bahr