The Panthers will return to their third starting quarterback of the season against the Broncos this Sunday.
Sam Darnold will get his first shot to lead the offense since he suffered an ankle injury in the team’s final preseason game. That game came after former head coach Matt Rhule picked Baker Mayfield as the winner of a competition with Darnold and the quarterback said on Wednesday that he’s looking forward to finally getting another chance to play.
“I’m just excited to play football,” Darnold said, via Mike Kaye of the Charlotte Observer. “I’m excited to be able to go out there and play with the guys. The biggest thing for me is playing consistently, and taking what they give me. I think that’ll kind of be the story of the day on Sunday, and I’m excited to go out there and do what I can to help this team win.”
Darnold is in the final year of his contract and his performance on Sunday and in any future games will help determine what kind of future he’ll have in the league. Darnold said that’s not on his mind with the Broncos coming to town.
“Right now, I’m not focused on the future in any circumstance,” Darnold said. “I think, for me, it’s really about focusing on this Broncos defense. And if I look too far in the future, or think about what things could look like for me next year, I’d be doing this team and this organization a disservice.”
Darnold doesn’t have much of a future to worry about if he can’t do well in the present and Sunday will bring a chance to see how things are looking after a long layoff.