CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — PJ Walker will be the Carolina Panthers’ starting quarterback against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, but interim coach Steve Wilks hopes Baker Mayfield will be available as a backup.
Mayfield hasn’t practiced all week because of a sprained ankle and is in doubt. The team waits for one last MRI before making a decision to activate it or not.
On Friday, Mayfield was at practice but did not participate. However, Wilks said Mayfield had “a great practice” with the coaches before the session.
“They took him through some intense training—good moves, changes of direction and he really tried to put pressure on the ankle,” Wilks said. “He shot the ball well. He is a tough guy. We will wait to see the latest report from the MRI.”
Jacob Eason could be called up from the practice squad as the backup quarterback if the Panthers decide not to activate Mayfield this week.
Walker is 2-0 as a starter in the NFL, winning games in 2020 and 2021 with the Panthers, but has only completed 57% of his passes, with eight interceptions and two touchdown passes.
Mayfield has struggled this season, going 1-4 as a starter and near the bottom of almost all passing stats.
Carolina’s other quarterbacks, Sam Darnold and Matt Corral, are on the disabled list. Corral will be out for the entire campaign.
Wilks said cornerback Jayce Horn (rib) likely won’t play this week, but expects cornerbacks Donte Jackson (ankle) and CJ Henderson (knee) to play even though they didn’t practice Friday and are in doubt.
Wide receiver Laviska Shenault was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Wide receiver Robbie Anderson (illness) did not practice Friday and was added to injury doubt.
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Walker will be the Panthers’ starting quarterback on Sunday.