By STEVE RED
CHARLOTTE — Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold will each play a series Saturday night when the Carolina Panthers face the Washington Commanders in their preseason opener, according to coach Matt Rhule.
Rhule wouldn’t say who will start at quarterback.
“We try to get each guy to play between six and eight games,” Rhule said after the team’s annual Fan Fest practice Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium.
Rookie Matt Corral and PJ Walker should see most reps at quarterback.
Rhule said most of the team’s starters will play between eight and 15 games.
Mayfield and Darnold have been battling for the starting position since the start of training camp and split practice reps.
The Panthers shouldn’t pick a starter for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the Cleveland Browns until Game 2 of the preseason because he doesn’t want to rush into making the wrong choice.
Mayfield has been more productive in practice, but Rhule gave no indication of who would win the quarterback battle in his mind, saying Mayfield and Darnold both had good days.
“When we know, we know,” Rhule said. “If we knew, we’d say. Every day brings new evidence; every day brings new insights.”
If past accomplishments are any indication, Mayfield appears to have the upper hand.
The No. 1 overall pick in 2018 was 29-30 as a starter in his four seasons with the Browns, while Darnold is just 17-32 in his time with the Jets and New York Panthers. York. Mayfield also has playoff experience, leading the Browns to wild card victory in 2020 after helping Cleveland finish 11-5 in the regular season.
Mayfield’s stats are also far superior – he threw 92 touchdowns and 56 interceptions compared to Darnold’s 54 touchdowns and 52 interceptions.
“For me, it’s about being a great situational quarterback in the red zone, on third down and in the two-minute offense,” Rhule said. “And then it’s about who can move the team, who can make plays, who can play in the pattern and get the ball to the guys we have.
“When you have those three things, you have the starting quarterback,” he added.
NOTES: The Panthers signed tight ends Ryan Izzo and Nate Becker on Thursday after a series of injuries in that position. The Panthers waived sending defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner to injured reserve and injured cornerback Devin Jones waived in corresponding moves. … Defensive tackle Derrick Brown was excused from practice Thursday for personal reasons. … Linebacker Shaq Thompson and cornerback Jaycee Horn won’t play against the Commanders.