5 major Sam Darnold observations from Week 2 of Panthers training camp

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

Bigger tests are coming for Sam Darnold

We are about to get a much better indication of what Sam Darnold’s potential could be in 2021. Some bigger tests are on the immediate horizon for the player and how he comes through them will be of critical importance in the pursuit of hitting the ground running during the regular season.

Darnold will come up against a quality defense next week – and not his own.

The Indianapolis Colts have some outstanding defensive weapons – led by All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard – so Darnold needs to be at the top of his game to come out of this in a positive light.

This will be followed by the Carolina Panthers taking the field for their first preseason game on Sunday. It remains to be seen just how many reps he’ll get, although it would be a surprise not to see him for the first quarter providing everything is going according to plan.

Realistically speaking, we’ll probably see more of Darnold in Game 2 of the preseason against the Baltimore Ravens, which is normally the time when veterans see the field before getting some rest before opening day.

The Panthers won’t be giving much away in terms of their scheme, either. So the playbook will be pretty basic and something that might also work in Darnold’s favor.