Panthers plan to start QB Sam Darnold vs. Patriots

One (likely) up and one to go for the Carolina Panthers here in Week 9.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to start on Sunday afternoon against the New England Patriots. Further instilling confidence in his status, he—along with P.J. Walker—will remain as the only two passers the team will deem as active for the contest.

Darnold came out of the Week 8 victory over the Atlanta Falcons with injuries to his head and right shoulder. The fourth-year quarterback was cleared through the league’s concussion protocol on Saturday and will now have to get through his pregame routine without sustaining any setbacks to his throwing arm.

If Darnold is indeed a go, this’ll mark his fourth career start against Bill Belichick’s Patriots. In his previous three outings combined, he passed for 519 yards with one touchdown, six interceptions and two lost fumbles.

Running back Christian McCaffrey, obviously, will be the other name to keep tabs on leading up to kickoff. Carolina activated their star rusher to the 53-man roster yesterday, possibly setting the stage for his return following a five-game absence.

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