4 major observations from PJ Walker’s performance vs. Bucs in Week 7
By Dean Jones
PJ Walker earned the right to start in Week 8
Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold are both reportedly ready to play again barring any setbacks in practice this week. However, the Carolina Panthers would be wise to ride the hot hand and keep PJ Walker under center for their Week 8 trip to the Atlanta Falcons.
This is a far cry from Walker’s outlook during the summer. He was seen as the team’s fourth-choice option behind Mayfield, Darnold, and rookie Matt Corral, but a serious foot injury to the Ole Miss product meant he got a reprieve and he’s earned the right to lead Carolina’s offense next weekend at the very least.
When asked about the prospect of Mayfield or Darnold replacing Walker, interim head coach Steve Wilks conceded it would be extremely difficult to demote the player after such an outstanding performance against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that still had quality despite missing some key men within their secondary.
"“PJ had an outstanding performance. When you look at what he did today – still have to evaluate the tape – it’s going to be hard to try to pull him out.”"
The Panthers haven’t had much to cheer about this season. Therefore, moving forward with Walker for another crucial divisional matchup in the hope he can build on some newfound momentum is the correct call to make.
Whether he can achieve similar consistency on the road is the bigger question. But he deserves the opportunity based on what we witnessed in Week 7.