5 initial observations from Panthers unofficial 2021 depth chart

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Daviyon Nixon
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Daviyon Nixon /
2 of 5
Sam Darnold
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY) Sam Darnold, Will Grier and P.J. Walker /

Carolina Panthers QB2 battle still ongoing

The Carolina Panthers were giving absolutely nothing away when it comes to just who will be Sam Darnold’s primary backup in 2021. There is no disputing the former USC star atop the depth chart, but whether Will Grier or P.J. Walker are going to be second remains to be seen.

At least from what we’ve seen at training camp so far, it appears as if Walker is in pole position to secure the role. Although all hope is not lost for Grier just yet.

Head coach Matt Rhule is keen to see both players on the field for a prolonged period of time this offseason. Darnold should play some over the first two weeks, but Grier and Walker will share the bulk of the load to keep their recent acquisition from the New York Jets fresh for Week 1 against his former team.

Grier has yet to see any action since his rookie campaign in 2019. Walker at least has a win last season under his belt, but his poor outing against the New Orleans Saints in the season finale left a sour taste in the mouth.

If the Panthers don’t like what they see from either in warmup contests, it might see them potentially bring in additional reinforcements if the worst happens to Darnold. And in truth, this is a battle that could run through the season if Carolina takes three signal-callers onto the roster.