Baker Mayfield struggled again this Sunday completing just 22-of-36 passes for 197 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. A stat that most don't pay attention to, batted balls, is one that has been problematic for Mayfield throughout his career and it showed up again against Arizona.
Despite Mayfield's slow start, head coach Matt Rhule told reporters Monday afternoon that he doesn't expect to make a change at quarterback.
"I think Baker is our quarterback. We have to continue to find ways to help him. Sam [Darnold] is not cleared right now and we're just going to keep trying to get better."
Darnold, the Panthers QB1 in 2021, suffered an ankle injury in the preseason finale against the Buffalo Bills and has been sidelined ever since. He is, however, eligible to come off the injured reserve list this week after missing the first four games of the season. If Rhule has a change of heart and decides to make a change at quarterback it won't be this week.
"Not this week," Rhule said when asked if Darnold is ready to return. "Maybe he starts his window the next week. But just from the doctors, he's not going to be practicing this week."
Even when Darnold returns to 100%, there's no guarantee that a change will be made. Rhule believes Mayfield is the right guy for the job and will only continue to improve as the weeks go on.
"Baker's always been a winner," stated Rhule. "He's a talented guy that's made plays. Took the Browns to the playoffs and for us, it was about bringing another good player in and having competition with four quarterbacks. Two of those guys have gotten hurt along the way. I think Baker will be the first to say that he wants to play better. I think he also needs some guys on offense to make some plays for him at times.
"Every position and every player is unique. It really depends what your options are. Like if a starting right tackle is struggling or starting left tackle or starting left guard, it's really about the competition at that position and who's there and all those things. I do think the quarterback always takes a little more blame than maybe he deserves."
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