5 key observations from second Panthers scrimmage at Colts

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Rodney Smith
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) Rodney Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker /

Carolina Panthers won’t play the 1s on Sunday

Matt Rhule stated straight after the second joint practice that the primary starters would not be seeing the field at the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Considering there are only three preseason games on the calendar, it’s a divisive topic that has plenty of pros and cons attached.

This probably bears more significance where Sam Darnold is concerned. Rhule added his new signal-caller would definitely play in Week 3 of the preseason against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but still isn’t sure about their acquisition from the New York Jets suiting up next Sunday.

One expected Darnold to get at least one series, due to the fact he’s yet to experience a game-day situation with the Carolina Panthers and needs all the help he can get from a confidence standpoint following a torrid three years at MetLife Stadium.

That being said, Rhule is confident the reps Darnold has accumulated throughout the week are enough.

"“We didn’t substitute the ones much here; now we’ll get the twos and threes. This year’s different. We cut down to 85 on Tuesday, so I want to make sure all 90 guys are healthy and on tape, so we make the right and appropriate decisions. I was probably going to play the ones up to about Wednesday, but looked at it and said let’s treat it this way.”"

Some slight injury worries probably played a role in Rhule’s call. The last thing the Panthers need is one of their star players going down in a meaningless game, so it’s a good chance for the coaching staff to evaluate what they have on the roster fringes before trimming down in the first set of cuts early next week.