4 major observations from Panthers QB Baker Mayfield’s home debut

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Baker Mayfield /

Carolina Panthers need Baker Mayfield to stay healthy more than ever

One of the biggest dangers that come with preseason is injuries. The Carolina Panthers experienced this in preseason Week 2 when rookie quarterback Matt Corral went down with a season-ending foot problem and it now looks like they’ll be without primary backup Sam Darnold for a prolonged period.

The former USC star – who conducted himself extremely well this offseason – fell awkwardly during a play in the second half and was carted off. Although head coach Matt Rhule said he’d wait and see following an MRI scan on Saturday, Joe Person of The Athletic reported that it is a high ankle sprain for Darnold.

This normally comes with a significant period of recovery. Something that leaves the Panthers counting on Baker Mayfield’s health more than ever in 2022.

Mayfield looks refreshed and focused on the task at hand. There also appear to be no ill effects from the shoulder surgery, which is another major positive.

Just what the Panthers will do if Darnold is forced to miss an extended portion of the campaign is unclear. P.J. Walker, the odd man out throughout Carolina’s preparation period, could now become the No. 2 option, although the prospect of someone else coming in cannot be ruled out, either.

Regardless of which way the Panthers go, Mayfield staying on the field is critical.