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Baker Mayfield to Start Panthers’ First Preseason Game

The Panthers announced they will start Baker Mayfield at quarterback in their first preseason game vs. the Commanders. Sam Darnold will relieve Mayfield as the second quarterback in the game.

The plan is for Mayfield to get the first series of action with the starters, while Darnold will get the second series. According to The Athletic’s Joe Person, coach Matt Rhule wants each quarterback to get at least six to eight plays of action.

This is only the latest indication that Carolina may be leaning towards naming Mayfield the team’s starting quarterback for Week 1. By getting the first preseason reps of the summer, Mayfield has the first chance to prove he deserves the starting job.

However, Rhule already said he wants to see how both quarterbacks perform in the team’s joint practice with the Patriots next week before making a decision.

“I’m not putting a timetable on the quarterback position until after we get back from the Patriots week,” Rhule said. “The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us. We’re going against another team, we’re practicing… I think that will really show us where guys are.”

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Even if Mayfield impresses on Saturday night, he will need to keep that momentum up for the next week to secure the spot starting vs. Cleveland to open the season.

Saturday’s game in Washington kicks off at 1 p.m. ET.

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