The Carolina Panthers' QB1 battle between Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will take a break during this evening's preseason matchup against the New England Patriots.
Veteran reserve P.J. Walker and third-round rookie Matt Corral will alternate quarters during tonight's contest — Walker taking first and third and Corral taking second and fourth.
Head coach Matt Rhule said offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo wants both of these guys to get a handle on what it's like to serve as the team's primary backup.
"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, per the team's website. "And then we see them with the third group, so there's some consistency there.
"Then the second part, and this was coach 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."
Mayfield led the first drive in the Panthers' preseason opener, followed by Darnold. Walker got the most time in the opener, notching 136 yards on 10/19 passing. Corral collected just 11 yards on 1/9 passing in his preseason debut.
Mayfield and Darnold split first-team reps during joint practices this week.