Baker Mayfield is joining (former) head coach Matt Rhule on the Carolina Panthers’ bench.
Unlike Rhule – who was canned Monday morning – Mayfield didn’t lose his job due to performance – although that was likely coming. Instead, he’ll miss “a couple weeks” due to an injury sustained during Sunday’s loss to San Francisco.
Panthers fire Matt Rhule, lose QB Baker Mayfield on same day
There’s no way to put it: the Panthers are in shambles right now.
Carolina is off to a 1-4 start, looked lifeless in Sunday’s loss, fired head coach Matt Rhule early Monday and then lost QB Baker Mayfield for “at least a couple weeks” hours later. The team didn’t come into the season with high expectations, but I’m not sure anyone expected it to get this bad, this quick.
Mayfield suffered the injury in the first half of Sunday’s 37-15 drubbing. He played most of the second half and was spotted in a boot after the game.
“A little painful right now,” Mayfield said after the game. “I’m not real sure exactly what it is. We’ll examine that tomorrow and find out. So right now I’m managing the pain and learning to step in the boot.”
PJ Walker, according to reports, is expected to start Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. This will now be the first game for interim coach Steve Wilks. Former first round pick Sam Darnold could inherit the role down the road, but he remains on IR with an injury of his own.
For what it’s worth, Walker is probably an upgrade under center for the Panthers.
He’s 2-0 as a starter in the past two seasons, while Mayfield has been horrendous this year. According to ESPN, his 16.5 Total QBR is the second lowest after five games of any QB since tracking began in 2006.
In five games, Mayfield threw for four touchdowns and four interceptions, including a “gut-punch” pick-6 in Sunday’s game, according to Rhule. His 71.8 QB Rating is worst in the league among qualified starters, as is his 54.9 completion percentage.