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Panthers quarterbacks injury update ahead of Week 7 vs. Buccaneers

We break down the news that Baker Mayfield has an ankle injury and that Sam Darnold has been designated for return. What it means for Week 7 and beyond.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Carolina Panthers drops back for a pass during the second half of the Panthers’ football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Bank of America Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Friday Update: Mayfield is officially doubtful for the game on Sunday. Carolina isn’t expected to elevate Darnold from IR this week which would have Jacob Eason backing up PJ Walker against the Bucs.


Thursday update: Baker Mayfield was upgraded from DNP on Wednesday to limited on Thursday. Walker is starting, but Mayfield could end up available as an emergency option.

Wednesday PM Update: Third-string quarterback PJ Walker has been named the starting QB for the Panthers vs. the Buccaneers in Week 7. It remains to be seen if Darnold or Mayfield will be available off the bench if needed.


The Carolina Panthers have a big divisional matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 7. The team has largely underperformed, and the Baker Mayfield experiment at quarterback hasn’t panned out. To add injury to insult, Mayfield suffered an ankle injury in Week 5 and missed last week’s game.

Third-string quarterback PJ Walker got the start and was relieved by new-signee Jacob Eason when he got hurt. Sam Darnold was designated to return from IR today, giving the team a 21-day window to activate him. At Wednesday’s practice, Mayfield is running on his own while Darnold, Walker and Eason are practicing with the team.

Fantasy football implications for Week 7

None of the quarterbacks will have their own fantasy relevance, but they each affect the players around them. With Mayfield under center, wide receiver DJ Moore was basically a weekly sit and running back Christian McCaffrey is nearing relegation to your bench. This week will be a tough test against the Bucs' defense, so be wary. If Sam Darnold gets the start, we have seen that he can elevate Moore and McCaffrey to fantasy relevance, even if the overall team is bad. If it is Mayfield, Walker or Eason then you will likely sit Moore and downgrade CMC.