While the Carolina Panthers are in the midst of a quarterback battle, neither of the top two candidates will take the field Friday night during their Week 2 preseason matchup against the New England Patriots. On Friday morning, the team announced that Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold would sit, while backups P.J. Walker and Matt Corral would alternate quarters.
Most teams holding quarterback battles will give each signal-caller one half a piece, but Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is opting to go in a different direction.
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"It's two things; we want to see them both with the same groups, as best we can, so they both have the same set of receivers, and there's a consistency there," Rhule said. "And then we see them with the third group, so there's some consistency there.
"Then the second part, and this was coach [Ben] McAdoo's idea, and his perspective, as a backup quarterback, you have to be ready to go in the game at a moment's notice, and you have to be able to excel and play well without having much of a chance to warm up. This is our way of simulating that for them, where they have to warm up and get cooled down and go in there and be hot; that's how I see it."
Walker was Carolina's leading passer during the Panthers' first preseason matchup against the Washington Commanders, which ended in a 23-21 victory for Carolina. The former Temple quarterback completed 10 of 19 passes for 136 yards. As for the rookie out of Ole Miss, however, he struggled in his first NFL action. Corral completed just 1 of 9 passes for 11 yards, but he was under duress the entire time due to a struggling offensive line.
Interestingly enough, Corral led Carolina's final drive which set up a 45-yard, game-winning field goal, although the offense picked up just 20 yards of total offense that was matched by 20 Washington penalty yards.
The Panthers and Patriots have beenin joint practices, so expect fireworks this evening.