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Baker Mayfield Reacts To The Panthers' Quarterback Decision

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 25: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Carolina Panthers is shown during their game against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 25: Baker Mayfield #6 of the Carolina Panthers is shown during their game against the New Orleans Saints at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Despite being healthy enough to do so, Baker Mayfield will not reclaim his starting quarterback position in Week 8.

The Carolina Panthers signal caller missed the last two games with an ankle injury, but has now been cleared from the injury report. Instead of plugging him back in at QB1, interim head coach Steve Wilks has elected to stick with veteran backup P.J. Walker.

Mayfield addressed the loss of his starting job during a press conference on Thursday.

“We all want to play,” Mayfield said, per Joseph Person of The Athletic. “That’s the nature of this business, that’s the nature of playing sports. My role right now is to help us win any way I can and that’s helping out in QB room and doing scout team stuff and trying to get under their skin on defense. I’m enjoying what I’m doing right now. Obviously I’d like to be out there, but P.J. played his ass off and deserves to go out there again and play. I’ll do whatever I can to help this team win.”

After a disappointing start against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6, Walker led the Panthers to their second win of the season over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past weekend. He completed 16/22 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns in the 21-3 upset victory.

Before his injury, Mayfield didn't do enough to solidify himself as the team's starting quarterback. But if Walker takes a step back this weekend, the former No. 1 overall pick could come back into the conversation.

Sam Darnold, the team's incumbent starter from 2021, has also been designated to return from the injured reserve.

The Panthers will face off against the Atlanta Falcons in a Week 8 matchup on Sunday.