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Panthers 'Inching Closer' to QB1 Decision

Carolina is inching closer to naming their starting quarterback.

The Carolina Panthers have had an interesting week in Foxborough already thanks to all of the scuffles with the Patriots which has led to a handful of players being kicked out of practice, including safety Kenny Robinson who got the boot back-to-back days.

As much as those battles are being talked about, let's not forget about the battle that actually matters - Sam Darnold vs Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield repped with the ones during Tuesday's practice, while today Darnold saw a lot of action with the ones. The two have split first-team reps since the beginning of camp but that will come to an end relatively soon. 

"We're meeting on the reps tomorrow," said head coach Matt Rhule. "We're planning on playing most of our twos and threes in this game. I don't know what they're going to do, but we're going to play a lot of the younger guys trying to make the team. We have a lot of injuries right now. We've lost a lot of guys from soft tissue stuff so we'll have to see what kind of shape we're in when we get the injury report tonight."

The sense is that the Panthers know who they are going to name as the starting quarterback (Baker Mayfield) but the decision to officially reveal him as such is being delayed for the time being. 

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"The thing I've said all along was I kind of wanted to get to this point," Rhule said. "When we know, we know. It could be at any point. It could be two more weeks or not. It could be now. We're just making sure we're thorough. We have a really good plan. We're not winging it. We have a really good plan. Sometimes, I just don't feel at liberty to share it out of respect for the guys."

With both quarterbacks getting "heavy" work in these two joint practices, it's unlikely that we see much of either of them in Friday night's preseason game. I'm told a starting quarterback for the regular season could be named ahead of Friday's kickoff but if not, the decision should come sometime over the weekend/early next week.

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