Baker Mayfield May Not Be Carolina Panthers’ Starter When He Returns

Baker Mayfield won’t be handed back the Carolina Panthers’ starting job when he returns from his ankle injury.

During his press conference Monday afternoon, interim head coach Steve Wilks was asked point blank if Mayfield would be his QB1 when he returns.

Wilks, who replaced the now-fired Matt Rhule last week, instead only said his quarterbacks would compete.

Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold or PJ Walker? Steve Wilks Won’t Say

The Carolina Panthers have been by far the biggest dumpster fire in the NFL through six weeks. And it certainly doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

Head coach Matt Rhule was canned last week after the team’s 1-4 start. Baker Mayfield is out “at least a couple weeks” with an ankle injury, and the team is reportedly shopping Christian McCaffrey.

The fire-sale already began Monday, when Robbie Anderson was traded to the Arizona Cardinals after his sideline tirade against an assistant coach during Sunday’s loss in Los Angeles.

Steve Wilks didn't commit to Baker Mayfield when he returns.
Don’t expect Baker Mayfield to just be handed the QB1 job for the Carolina Panthers when he returns. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Combine all of that with Carolina’s current QB room – which consists of an injured Mayfield, an injured Sam Darnold, and a terrible PJ Walker – and it’s been a miserable 2022.

Speaking of Darnold … the former first round pick could return from the IR this week, but Wilks wouldn’t commit to him for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay, either.

Baker Mayfield was NFL’s worst quarterback while healthy

Even when Mayfield does come back, it certainly wouldn’t make sense for Wilks to reinsert him as the team’s starter.

According to ESPN, Mayfield’s 16.5 Total QBR was the second lowest after five games of any QB since tracking began in 2006.

While healthy, Mayfield threw for four touchdowns and four interceptions, including an awful pick-6 two weeks ago in the loss to San Francisco. His 71.8 QB Rating was the worst in the league among qualified starters, as was his 54.9 completion percentage.

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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