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Panthers QB Sam Darnold on IR, to miss at least four weeks

Aug 26, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Trainers attend to Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers placed quarterback Sam Darnold on injured reserve Thursday, making him eligible to return from a high-ankle sprain in the fifth week of the season.

There’s a chance he could be ready to return by then, coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday following practice.

“We think it’s four to six (weeks). There was a lot of concern that it would be six to eight,” Rhule said of the injury. “They did additional testing and the great news is it didn’t have some of the structural issues that can maybe sometimes come with that injury. So it should be about four to six weeks.”

Darnold, 25, was injured on Friday in the team’s preseason finale when Buffalo Bills defensive tackle C.J. Brewer rolled over his left foot. Darnold completed 5 of 11 passes for 49 yards and added a 1-yard rushing touchdown before the injury.

He was carted off the field.

Baker Mayfield will quarterback the Panthers in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 11. PJ Walker will back him up.

–Field Level Media