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NFL World Reacts To The P.J. Walker Decision News

Quarterback PJ Walker of the Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - AUGUST 26: PJ Walker #11 of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills during a preseason game at Bank of America Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

P.J. Walker earned at least one more opportunity under center for the Carolina Panthers.

On Monday, head coach Steve Wilks told reporters (h/t NFL Network's Ian Rapoport) that he sees "no reason not to" give Walker another start after leading Carolina to a surprising 21-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Wilks said he's leaning toward playing Walker despite the status of Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold. Both quarterbacks could be available to return from ankle injuries in time for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Fans celebrated Walker's achievement while wondering if the Mayfield era has already ended in Carolina.

Walker accrued just 60 passing yards on 16 attempts -- only one of which went beyond the line of scrimmage -- in his Week 6 start against the Los Angeles Rams. However, the former XFL standout performed far better Sunday.

In a shockingly dominant Panthers win, the 27-year-old completed 16 of 22 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, he had the highest game grade (94.9) of any quarterback all season.

Meanwhile, Mayfield amassed four touchdowns, four picks, and a 71.9 quarterback rating before getting injured. The Panthers took a chance on the former 2019 No. 1 pick after the No. 3 selection, Sam Darnold, stumbled last season.

Even if Walker isn't the long-term solution, the Panthers might as well see if they found lightning in a bottle. 

Sunday's game between the 2-5 Panthers and 3-4 Falcons has far bigger stakes in the NFC South than anyone could have expected. Walker will lead Carolina into Mercedez-Benz Stadium.