The Carolina Panthers may not have had the services of “Sandman Sims” readily available, but that didn’t stop them from turning their Week 7 outing into a miserable afternoon at the Apollo.
Head coach Matt Rhule brought out hook on Sam Darnold, unceremoniously ending yet another unacceptable performance from the fourth-year quarterback. Rhule, however, has already committed to keeping Darnold as their starter following the 25-3 loss.
“Obviously, I pulled Sam in the game,” Rhule said off the top of his postgame presser. “Just felt like we needed some sort of a spark.
“Not that anything was necessarily him, I think it’s all of them. Hoping P.J. [Walker] would go out there and make a run or do something to kinda get us going. Sam will be our quarterback next week. He’ll be our quarterback moving forward.”
Walker came in of relief at the 12:41 mark of the fourth quarter for Darnold, who completed 16 of his 25 attempts for 111 yards and an interception. Walker wouldn’t fare much better, connecting on three of his 14 throws for 33 yards.
Rhule was then asked if this defeat, along with the three that preceded it, has proven that Darnold isn’t the answer for the franchise. He disagreed with that notion, but provided his thoughts on what has to be fixed.
“Sam’s gotta take care of the football,” Rhule said. “And Sam’s gotta throw on time and if it’s not there, find the check-downs. We can’t be driving, with a chance to take the lead, and throw interceptions. His sense of urgency this week, I expect to be heightened.”
Darnold will have to try and lift the 3-4 Panthers, who have suddenly found themselves in last place, past the 3-3 Atlanta Falcons next week.
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