On Tuesday, it was revealed that Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold suffered an incomplete fracture of his shoulder blade. The injury will cause Darnold to miss a few weeks, meaning PJ Walker will handle the starting job until further notice.
Darnold has struggled recently, and many fans were pushing for Walker to get more reps. Now, that call has been answered (even though the circumstances are different). In five games during the XFL’s 2020 season, Walker went undefeated as a Houston Roughneck, throwing for 1,338 yards and 15 touchdowns in the process. Since signing with the Panthers last year, Walker has been the backup. He’s appeared in 7 games, completing 49.3% of his passes for 401 yards, 1 touchdown, and 5 interceptions.
Not only will Walker get a chance to prove his worth, but he may be part of a memorable moment for XFL fans. Carolina plays Washington on November 21st, a team led by former BattleHawks quarterback Taylor Heinicke. If he remains the starter for another few weeks, the two will get to face each other in a game of historic proportions.
In addition to the Walker announcement, Carolina also signed quarterback Matt Barkley off the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad. The 4-5 Panthers will head to Arizona this Sunday to take on the Cardinals, a tough opponent for Walker to go up against in just his second NFL start.
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UPDATE: Panthers have signed quarterback Cam Newton. Head coach Matt Rhule has said that Walker is still the starter for now.