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Panthers Reveal The Injury Diagnosis For Sam Darnold

Carolina Panthers v Indianapolis Colts

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - AUGUST 15: Sam Darnold #14 of the Carolina Panthers warms up before the preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Carolina Panthers will be without backup quarterback Sam Darnold for a while following his injury in the team's preseason finale.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule informed reporters today that he expects Darnold to miss "at least" four weeks with a high ankle sprain. If the team puts him on short-term IR, he'd have to miss the first four games. 

In the meantime, with Darnold out, P.J. Walker will serve as Carolina's backup to Baker Mayfield.

Darnold had to be carted off during Friday's 21-0 exhibition victory over Buffalo. He suffered the injury in the third quarter when Bills defensive lineman C.J. Brewer rolled over Darnold's ankle while pursuing him. 

Darnold underwent an MRI on Saturday, and at the time, Rhule said it was a "significant" injury.

Acquired from the New York Jets via trade before last season, Darnold was Carolina's primary starter in 2021. He passed for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 games.

Darnold was beaten out by Mayfield this summer after the latter was added in a trade with Cleveland. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Darnold is the second Panthers' quarterback to get hurt this summer. 

Rookie Matt Corral has already been declared out for the year after suffering a Lisfranc injury earlier this month.