Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule seems in no rush to reveal the identity of the quarterback he will trust in the first week of NFL activities.
The race is between Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield, with neither showing more dominance than the other since the start of training camp.
The Panthers will play their first preseason game against the Washington Commanders on Sunday before starting a week during which they will hold two joint practices with the New England Patriots. They will face the latter in their second preseason match.
A final decision will not be made until the end of this duel.
“I’m not giving myself any timeline on the quarterback issue until we come back from the week against the Patriots,” said Rhule, whose comments were picked up by ESPN on Saturday. The week against the Patriots will be decisive for us. It will show us where the guys are at.”
Practices also failed to identify a favorite, with Darnold and Mayfield splitting reps evenly across the first and second teams.
The coaching staff will thus have to “study the video tapes in order to see which masters the attack best”.
Mayfield and Darnold were each selected in the first round of the 2018 draft, first and third overall, respectively, by the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets.
Darnold, however, had more time to acclimatize to his coach’s playbook, he who already has a season in a Panther uniform, after being traded in April 2021. For his part, Mayfield will be in his first year under new colors, he who changed his address after the Browns acquired Deshaun Watson.