4 key Carolina Panthers storylines to watch at the Ravens in Week 11

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Can the Carolina Panthers count on Baker Mayfield?

Fortune favored Baker Mayfield when teammate P.J. Walker suffered an ankle complication that will keep him out in Week 11. Something that left Steve Wilks with no option other than to reinstall the former Oklahoma sensation as the team’s starting option once again.

It was a rough first five games for Mayfield before his own spell on injured/reserve. Things just didn’t click as many hoped following his high-profile trade from the Cleveland Browns, but there were slight signs of life during his time under center at the Cincinnati Bengals – his first involvement since Matt Rhule was fired.

This is Mayfield’s last chance to prove himself in Carolina. If things don’t go well for the Heisman Trophy winner against a team he’s played plenty throughout his career, then Wilks has already stated he’d be more than comfortable about throwing Sam Darnold into the mix at some stage.

Perhaps the additional creativity in Ben McAdoo’s scheme will help. The offensive coordinator must get Mayfield into an early rhythm, relying on the run game and putting the signal-caller in manageable situations – something he can hopefully build upon as the game progresses.

Mayfield knows the magnitude of what he’s coming up against this weekend. He’s never turned down a challenge, but whether the polarizing figure can alter current perceptions about his NFL future is a completely different matter.

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