Sam Darnold to miss at least 4 weeks with shoulder fracture

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) speaks during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons , Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Panthers coach Matt Rhule said quarterback Sam Darnold will miss at least four weeks with a right shoulder injury.

Darnold, who is 4-5 as the team’s starter, suffered an incomplete fracture of the shoulder blade and will go on injured reserve.

P.J. Walker will start for the Panthers on Sunday against the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals, Rhule said. Walker, who played in the XFL, is 1-0 as an NFL starter but has thrown one touchdown and five interceptions during his brief playing career.

The Panthers have signed quarterback Matt Barkley off the Tennessee Titans practice squad and he’s expected to serve as Carolina’s No. 2 quarterback on Sunday.

Darnold originally sustained an injury to his right shoulder in a Week 8 win over the Atlanta Falcons on the same play in which he sustained a concussion. Darnold recovered enough to play on Sunday against the New England Patriots, but further injured the shoulder.

Rhule said the second injury was in a “different spot” than the first injury.

Rhule said the Panthers are open to signing another quarterback.

When asked if the team would consider re-signing Cam Newton, the franchise’s No. 1 draft pick in 2011, Rhule said he didn’t want to discuss “hypotheticals” and said his focus is on the players that are on the practice field.

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