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Carolina Panthers place QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) on injured reserve

The Carolina Panthers placed Sam Darnold on injured reserve Friday, one day after they signed fellow quarterback Cam Newton to a contract.

Coach Matt Rhule said Darnold will be out at least four weeks with an injured throwing shoulder. Darnold was diagnosed earlier this week with an incomplete scapula fracture.

P.J. Walker is expected to start the Panthers’ game against the Arizona Cardinals (8-1) on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.

Walker, 26, won his only previous NFL start last season, completing 24 of 34 passes for 258 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Carolina’s 20-0 defeat of the Detroit Lions on Nov. 22, 2020.

After a 3-0 start, the Panthers have lost five of their past six, including a 24-6 defeat to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Darnold went 16-for-33 passing in that game with 172 yards, three interceptions and zero touchdowns.

Carolina acquired Darnold in April from the New York Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and second- and fourth-round picks in 2022. They later shipped Teddy Bridgewater to Denver, lining Darnold up to earn his place as the franchise quarterback.

Darnold, 24, has started all nine games for Carolina in 2021 and has thrown for 1,986 yards, seven touchdowns and a league high-tying 11 interceptions with a 59.5 percent completion rate.

The Jets selected Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick of the 2018 draft.

Related: 2021 NFL Power Rankings – Cardinals soar to No. 1, Titans and Seahawks plummet

–Field Level Media