After a preseason injury forced him onto injured reserve to start the 2022 NFL season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is eligible to come off the list and return to the team. But it appears he's in no hurry to do that.
According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Darnold is "not close" to being ready to play as he recovers from the high ankle sprain that sidelined him. Per the report, it's "going to be a while" before Darnold is back on the field again.
Darnold lost his starting job with the Carolina Panthers to Baker Mayfield early in the preseason. Days later, he was removed from the equation entirely when he suffered his injury.
But with the Panthers sitting at 1-3 on the season as Mayfield struggles, there have been calls for a change at quarterback. Panthers fans are a bit mixed on the idea of making that change to Darnold though.
Some fans believe that even if Darnold was fully healthy, he wouldn't be an upgrade from Mayfield. Others are suggesting that Darnold can just finesse the Panthers out of the $18 million he's owed this year and not have to deal with booing while he waits it out.
As the starting quarterback of the Panthers in 2022, Sam Darnold went 4-7, completing 60-percent of his passes for 2,527 yards and nine touchdowns with 13 interceptions.
Lackluster production like that led to the team firing offensive coordinator Joe Brady and trading for Baker Mayfield at the end of the season.
Darnold must know that he doesn't have a future in Carolina. It wouldn't be a shock if he exercises more caution to avoid looking bad on a struggling team.
Will Sam Darnold play at all for the Panthers this season?