Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold out 4-6 weeks with shoulder injury

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) looks to pass as Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) defends in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold will be placed on injured reserve and is expected to miss at least four weeks with a shoulder injury, head coach Matt Rhule announced Wednesday.

The timeline for Darnold’s return is 4-to-6 weeks, according to Rhule, after the quarterback suffered a fractured scapula in his right shoulder.

Darnold also suffered a concussion in Week 8 but went on to start Week 9 against the Patriots and finished the game.

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The Panthers are expected to start P.J. Walker in Week 10 against the Arizona Cardinals. They also signed veteran quarterback Matt Barkley off of the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad to fill out their depth at the position. They also have 2020 fourth-round pick James Morgan on the practice squad.

Rhule said the team will explore other options at quarterback. When asked if they’d consider free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, Rhule said he won’t get into hypothetical situations and that he’s focused on this week.

The Panthers’ next four three games are against the Cardinals, Washington Football Team and Miami Dolphins before a Week 13 bye.

Sam Darnold | Career
Year aDOT Adjusted completion % Big-time throws Turnover-worthy plays
PFF passing grade
2021 7.8 72.6 14 15 60.3
2020 8.1 72.5 9 17 52.7
2019 8.8 74.6 20 23 64.3
2018 9.8 69.7 16 21 62.9

Click here to view Sam Darnold's career in PFF Premium Stats

Darnold would be eligible to return off of injured reserve in Week 14 when the Panthers play the Atlanta Falcons, though his injury could linger longer.

Darnold is PFF’s 29th-graded passer this season. He has completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 1,986 yards with seven touchdowns and an NFL-leading 11 interceptions. Walker, an XFL standout in 2020, won his only start with Carolina last season. He’s 3-of-15 for 33 yards this season and has a career overall PFF grade of 46.3.

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