Carolina Panthers set to place quarterback Sam Darnold on IR, give starting nod to P.J. Walker

CHARLOTTE (N.C.) -- The Carolina Panthers have placed quarterback Sam Darnold on injured reserves due to a shoulder injury that occurred during Sunday's loss to New England Patriots (24-6).
Carolina coach Matt Rhule stated that Darnold will likely be absent for at least four more weeks.

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He was victorious against the Detroit Lions in his first start.

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After suffering a concussion in the Atlanta Falcons' win, Darnold had to be a game-time choice to play Sunday's game. It is not thought that the shoulder injury was related to New England's injury.

A MRI revealed that Darnold had an incomplete fracture in the scapula of his right (throwing shoulder) side. Rhule stated that he believes it occurred in the second quarter.

Darnold was injured in a play where he received a forearm from Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

Darnold and Rhule did not indicate on Sunday that Darnold's shoulder was a problem in the quarterback’s performance in the loss. Rhule repeated that assertion on Monday.

Rhule stated, "When I looked at Rhule in the game I didn't see any poorly thrown balls." "I saw some decisions that we would like to see back."

Darnold completed the game with 16 of 33 passes, totalling 172 yards. He also had three interceptions and no touchdowns. In the third quarter, one of his interceptions was returned 88 yards for touchdown.

Rhule stated Wednesday that he saw the second half and knew he was playing with something.

On Tuesday, the Panthers signed Matt Barkley from the Tennessee Titans' practice team. Rhule stated that the team will continue to investigate all options for the position, with the belief Darnold would be back in the next four to six weeks.

Rhule was asked if Carolina would be open to bringing back Cam Newton (the top pick in the 2011 NFL draft) who played with the Panthers throughout the 2019 season. He said that he did not want to talk about "hypotheticals".