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Panthers Officially Announce Starting QB For First Preseason Game

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule looks on.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 17: Head coach Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers looks on during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Bank of America Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers have named a starting quarterback for their preseason opener. Joe Person of The Athletic reported that Baker Mayfield will get the start against the Washington Commanders. 

Shortly after this report went public, the Panthers officially announced that Mayfield will start this Saturday.

Per the report from The Athletic, the plan is for Mayfield to play the first series this afternoon. Sam Darnold, meanwhile, will get to lead the offense during the second series.    

This Saturday's preseason game should help Panthers head coach Matt Rhule inch closer to a final decision for Week 1. 

Earlier this month, Rhule revealed that he won't name a starting quarterback until after the Panthers' preseason game on Aug. 19 against the New England Patriots. 

"I'm not putting a timetable on the quarterback position until after we get back from the Patriots week," Rhule said, via ESPN. "The Patriots week is a true litmus test for us. That will really show us where guys are."

Darnold has more experience playing under Rhule, but the Panthers acquired Mayfield for a reason. 

It'll be fascinating to see which quarterback has a better performance this Saturday against the Commanders.

Kickoff for the Commanders-Panthers game is at 1 p.m. ET.