Baker Mayfield

QB Notes: Jets, Pickett, Chiefs, Carr

Zach Wilson will start for the Jets in Week 16, Robert Saleh confirmed. This was the expected Jets path, given the updates on Mike White‘s injured ribs. The short-week assignment made White’s road back tougher, and the team’s preferred starter will have a mini-bye to recover ahead of a possible Week 17 return. White attempted to receive clearance from as many as 10 independent doctors last week, and Jeremy Fowler of adds he is still consulting with doctors. But the Jets are proceeding cautiously with the fifth-year passer. Saleh does not believe the injury White suffered against the Bills is a season-ending malady, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. White is due for unrestricted free agency in March.

Here is the latest from the quarterback landscape:

  • After Mitch Trubisky played in most of the past two Steelers games, the team is ready to move its rookie back into action. Mike Tomlin expects Kenny Pickett to start Saturday against the Raiders, Teresa Varley of tweets. Pickett has now sustained two concussions this season.
  • The conditional 2024 pick the Browns obtained from the Panthers for Baker Mayfield will be a fifth-round choice, David Newton of notes (via Twitter). Mayfield needed to hit the 70% snap barrier with the Panthers. The new Rams starter did not come especially close to that, being demoted and then waived.
  • Derek Carr‘s recent Raiders extension — a three-year, $121.4MM pact — gives the team a three-day window following Super Bowl LVII to jettison the quarterback and save $40.5MM. Carr trade rumors are nothing new; he loomed as a trade candidate for much of the Jon Gruden period. But a GM informed the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora he does expect Carr to finally be dealt. Despite the Raiders’ struggles, Carr ranks 10th in QBR. The team’s blockbuster trade for Carr college teammate Davante Adams also might make a trade a tough sell, and the prospect of the Raiders needing to find an upgrade — an impediment to a trade during Gruden’s stay — also makes this a risky path. In his ninth season and having made 141 career starts, Carr is the longest-tenured starting quarterback in Raiders history.
  • Making a push for a second MVP, Patrick Mahomes offered a bit of insight on how he ended up in Kansas City. The sixth-year Chiefs passer said, after a productive meeting with Andy Reid ahead of the 2017 draft, he spoke with multiple teams who indicated they would draft him. During an appearance on Travis and Jason Kelce‘s New Heights podcast (video link), Mahomes said he informed the Chiefs they would need to trade up to at least No. 11 to land him. Mahomes said he did not know the extent of the Saints’ interest at the time — New Orleans held the No. 11 pick — but the Cardinals’ affinity for then-Texas Tech prospect has been known for some time. Arizona picked 13th that year. The Browns also traded their No. 12 pick to the Texans, who chose Deshaun Watson. The Chiefs traded their No. 27 choice, a 2017 third-rounder and their 2018 first to the Bills to secure the No. 10 draft slot. That ended up being a franchise-changing decision.

Rams Considering Starting Baker Mayfield Vs. Raiders

Despite acquiring Baker Mayfield less than two days ago via waivers, the Rams are already considering giving him game work. There is a “real chance” the former Browns and Panthers starter plays for his new team Thursday night, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

It seems the team’s preference is for John Wolford to make another start, but Adam Schefter of notes (via Twitter) that Matthew Stafford‘s original backup not being healthy enough to return from a neck injury would lead to Mayfield getting the nod against the Raiders. This would be quite the step for the recently relocated quarterback, especially when considering the Rams’ mini-bye ends with a Week 15 Monday-night game. Wolford, who has made two starts for the Rams this season, is listed as questionable.

Being informed he would be demoted to Carolina’s third-string quarterback, Mayfield requested to be cut. The Panthers obliged. Only the Rams submitted a claim. Mayfield is believed to be up to speed on the Rams’ Week 14 game plan, per Pelissero, though he will presumably be quite limited for functionality in Sean McVay‘s offense at this point. Mayfield last started in Week 11 — a 13-3 Panthers loss to the Ravens.

Mayfield is both going through the worst season of his career and potentially set to take the reins for a Rams team having (thus far) the worst season by a defending Super Bowl champion. The Rams’ 3-9 record is the worst by a defending champ through 12 games. No quarterback has finished a season with a worse QBR figure than Mayfield’s 17.8 number since 2010. Los Angeles is without Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson and multiple offensive line starters. The team let left guard David Edwards‘ injury-activation window close Wednesday; the veteran starter is now out for the season.

Stafford’s IR stay created a void for the Rams at quarterback. Although Bryce Perkins made a start against the Chiefs two weeks ago, Mayfield looks to have already surpassed him in L.A.’s pecking order here. Mayfield is on the Rams’ payroll at $1.35MM for the rest of the season. How he fares down the stretch stands to affect his market and potentially a future Rams compensatory draft pick, in the event the parties part ways at season’s end.

Rams Claim QB Baker Mayfield

The Rams-Baker Mayfield buzz will lead to a claim. Mayfield is headed to Los Angeles, according to Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). The Rams held the fourth spot in the Week 14 waiver priority.

L.A. will pick up the remaining $1.35MM left on the former No. 1 overall pick’s contract. Mayfield requested his Panthers release, as The Athletic’s Jeff Howe notes (via Twitter) he was set to be Carolina’s No. 3 quarterback following P.J. Walker‘s return. The former Browns starter could become the Rams’ first-stringer at some point soon.

Although Mayfield’s stock has tumbled since his 2020 divisional-round appearance in Cleveland, Schefter adds the Rams still believe in the ex-Heisman winner’s talent. The prospect of nabbing a compensatory pick also played into this claim (Twitter link). The Rams are not viewing this (yet, at least) through a beyond-2022 lens, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic tweets. The Panthers and Browns’ weeks-long haggling over Mayfield’s fifth-year option salary ended up aiding the Rams here, as Mayfield was tied to just a $4.858MM salary instead of the original $18.9MM option number.

Of course, the chance to upgrade on the John WolfordBryce Perkins situation naturally would appeal to the reigning Super Bowl champions, who have the worst 12-game record from a Super Bowl champ (3-9) in history. The Rams do not own their 2023 first-round pick, so losses piling up does not exactly do them any good — unless the second-round draft slot, and so on, is factored in.

Sporting what would be the worst season-ending NFL QBR figure in 12 years (18.3), Mayfield is not in position to net the Rams much in compensatory value. The former Oklahoma star and Offensive Rookie of the Year runner-up has been linked to needing a one-year, “prove it” deal for a bit now. He will head to L.A. with a 6-6 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio, having completed 57.8% of his throws at 6.4 yards per attempt.

Mayfield, 27, fared far better at points in Cleveland. He lost out to Saquon Barkley for OROY acclaim four years ago but showed promise after the Browns’ midseason coaching change. Following a rough 2019 that featured a one-and-done Freddie Kitchens HC stay, Mayfield rebounded to finish 10th in QBR (a 26-TD, eight-INT season) under Kevin Stefanski and pilot the Odell Beckham Jr.-less Browns to the 2020 divisional round. Playing through a shoulder injury cost Mayfield last season, and his Panthers work has been worse. The Rams will attempt to coax better play from the fifth-year arm. Of course, he will be taking over a Rams team that is without Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson and one that has struggled throughout to run the ball, as its offensive line has encountered numerous injuries.

The Rams playing Mayfield on Thursday night would seem ill-advised, but Schefter tweets there is a shot he sees action against the Raiders. The better bet here is the relocating QB making a push to start in Week 15, when the Rams have a Monday-night tilt against the Packers. That would give the scuffling passer a mini-bye to make an effort to sufficiently grasp McVay’s playbook. While the Panthers were impressed with how quickly Mayfield caught on in Ben McAdoo‘s offense, he had weeks to do so before training camp. The truncated timeframe here will limit how McVay can run his offense, though Wolford, Perkins and a diminished Stafford reduced the Rams’ capabilities as well.

The 49ers did not submit a claim for Mayfield, Schefter tweets, and Jeremy Fowler of adds (via Twitter) no other team is believed to have submitted a claim. Kyle Shanahan expressed doubt the team would make such a move. With the Rams 3-9, it would not have mattered anyway. The Rams effectively blocked the 49ers from investigating this situation later, however. The NFC West leaders, who swept the Rams this season, are set to roll with Brock Purdy for the time being.

Rams Considering Baker Mayfield Claim

While the 49ers appear hesitant to thrust Baker Mayfield into their Super Bowl push, the defending champions may not allow them that opportunity. The Rams are considering a Mayfield claim, Albert Breer of tweets.

Internal dialogue is “definitely” taking place among the Rams, according to’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter). Los Angeles holds the No. 4 waiver priority, and Fowler adds expectations point to the Texans, Bears and Broncos — the three teams ahead of the Rams — passing on a claim. Mayfield-Rams buzz is circulating around the league, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. A report earlier Tuesday indicated Houston, which used its top waiver status to claim Eno Benjamin and Amari Rodgers, is not believed to be interested.

This does represent an anticlimactic scenario, at least compared to how such a move would look in every other Sean McVay-led Rams campaign. Through 12 games, the 3-9 team has the worst record a Super Bowl champion has compiled to this point. No Super Bowl champ has finished with fewer than six wins in a non-strike-shortened season. The Rams adding Mayfield to potentially raise their floor would be a somewhat sobering development, considering where both sides were this offseason.

Then again, a McVay-Mayfield partnership — a setup the latter would be “ready to roll” with, per Fowler — does intrigue. Matthew Stafford is on IR, and the Rams have used both John Wolford and Bryce Perkins as relief options. Losses have stacked up regardless of the quarterback, and the team has a few nationally televised windows remaining. Stafford, who is signed through 2026 via the $40MM-per-year extension he inked this offseason, is almost certainly done for the year.

Mayfield, 27, is ticketed for free agency in March. Then again, he would make it there if no one claims him today. Gauging his fit in McVay’s system would also be interesting through a longer-term lens, as the former Heisman winner’s value has cratered since his 2021 shoulder injury. Mayfield has gone from a player potentially in line for a big-ticket Browns extension to one traded in the Deshaun Watson aftermath — after an injury-plagued 2021 slate — and a passer barreling toward the worst single-season QBR figure since Jimmy Clausen 12 years ago. A Rams pairing and the chance to work with McVay would at least allow Mayfield the opportunity to rebound ahead of free agency.

Texans Not Eyeing Baker Mayfield, Considering Starting Davis Mills?

When it was announced that Baker Mayfield had been let go by the Panthers yesterday, the most logical destination for him seemed to be the 49ers. The NFC West leaders have pushed back against the notion that they are interested in adding him, however, which could lead to a team higher in the waiver priority putting in a claim.

[RELATED: 49ers Not Expecting To Add Mayfield?]

The Texans, by virtue of having the league’s worst record, sit atop that list. They have already taken advantage of that by claiming running back Eno Benjamin and wide receiver Amari Rodgers earlier in the year. In the case of Mayfield, though, a repeat of those moves does not seem to be forthcoming.

It is considered “extremely unlikely” that Houston will add the former No. 1 overall pick, reports Aaron Wilson of KPRC2. The Texans have had issues at the quarterback position throughout the season, but head coach Lovie Smith indicated that the team’s focus will be on deciding the starter moving forward from amongst their in-house options.

“Everybody that’s available we look at,” he said when asked about the potential of claiming Mayfield. “We see if they fit. We’re constantly trying to improve our roster, so if there’s anybody that’s out there, that’s what we do. Don’t know enough about Baker or anything like that. We’re trying to get better play from the guys we have on our current roster.”

2021 third-rounder Davis Mills started each of the team’s first 10 contests this season, but he has taken a significant step back statistically compared to the promise he showed as a rookie. That has led to the widespread expectation that they will select a quarterback in the first round of the upcoming draft, but his struggles also prompted a short-term move when Kyle Allen was named the starter two weeks ago.

The former UDFA has thrown four interceptions in his two starts, however, leaving the Texans with a murky situation regarding their signal-callers for the remainder of the season. Smith declined to state publicly who will be under center for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, but Wilson reports that the team is “seriously contemplating” going back to Mills.

With Houston set to play out the string in 2022, they seem unlikely to give Mayfield, a pending free agent, the opportunity to compete for playing time in the waning weeks of the season. Such an opportunity could still come elsewhere later today in the event he is claimed.

49ers Not Expecting To Add Baker Mayfield?

After requesting his Panthers exit, Baker Mayfield is on waivers. More than $1MM remains on the former No. 1 overall pick’s contract, complicating a potential late-season claim. But the 49ers certainly make sense as a team that would consider such a move.

The contending team lost its second quarterback to a severe injury; Jimmy Garoppolo will be shut down for the third time during his five-plus-season San Francisco tenure. Kyle Shanahan addressed Mayfield’s availability Monday, but the sixth-year 49ers HC is not expecting the team to add the ex-Browns and Panthers starter.

We look into everything, but that would surprise me right now,” Shanahan said, via’s Nick Wagoner (on Twitter). “We’ve got to discuss more this afternoon. I’ve always been a fan of his, but I feel really good about our players. We’ll look into everything but I feel pretty good with where we’re at.”

With Garoppolo expected to land on IR, the 49ers will have only 2022 Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy and journeyman extraordinaire Josh Johnson — set to begin his fourth stint with the team after spending the season on Denver’s practice squad — as available quarterbacks. Mayfield, 27, would make sense as an addition here, given his pedigree. But it would be asking a lot for the scuffling QB to digest Shanahan’s complex offense and be positioned to make a quick impact. That said, Purdy is obviously set for a massive responsibility increase. If Mayfield lingers in free agency, the 49ers would have an interesting option.

While Mayfield played a major role in snapping the Browns’ near-20-year playoff drought two years ago, he has not replicated that form often since. The four-year Browns starter did play in a Shanahan-style offense in Cleveland, and the Panthers were impressed with how quickly he picked up Ben McAdoo‘s offense. But no turnaround from an injury-plagued 2021 commenced. QBR slots Mayfield as by far this season’s worst starter. Mayfield’s 18.2 figure would rank as the second-worst number in the QBR era; only Jimmy Clausen‘s 2010 rookie season — also with Carolina — produced a worst result (13.8).

Purdy displayed somewhat surprising effectiveness in the 49ers’ win over the Dolphins, completing 25 of 37 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Purdy threw 1,467 college passes as a four-year Iowa State starter, and while those throws did not generate much draft interest, his debut went better than Trey Lance‘s first extensive outing last season. Purdy’s performance also prompted the 49ers to release Nate Sudfeld this offseason; the team then kept the No. 262 overall pick as its third-stringer entering the season. That said, teams now having time to prepare for Purdy could change the equation — even with the 49ers deploying a four-All-Pro offense.

For now, the Purdy-Johnson duo will be how San Francisco attempts to pick up the Garoppolo pieces. It will be interesting if Mayfield lands with a team before season’s end.

Panthers Waive Baker Mayfield

10:40am: The move is now official, as the Panthers confirmed that Mayfield is no longer with the team.

9:45am: After less than one season in Carolina, Baker Mayfield‘s time with the Panthers is set to come to an end. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that the team will place their former starting quarterback on waivers later today. ESPN’s David Newton tweets that the 27-year-old requested the move.

Mayfield was acquired in the summer in a move which concluded a drawn-out negotiating process between the Panthers and Browns. The former No. 1 overall pick requested a move out of Cleveland, one which became inevitable upon their acquisition of Deshaun Watson in March. Mayfield, as expected, won out a training camp competition between himself and fellow 2018 draftee Sam Darnold

The former Heisman winner took on the No. 1 role for the first five games of the season, but failed to live up to expectations; the Panthers’ Week 5 loss proved to be the final game of former head coach Matt Rhule‘s tenure with the team. With Darnold and rookie Matt Corral sidelined to injuries, Mayfield had little in the way of competition for a first-team spot until he suffered a high ankle sprain of his own. That paved the way for former UDFA P.J. Walker to take over for five consecutive games.

Mayfield replaced Walker during the second half of the Panthers’ blowout loss to the Bengals in Week 9, but was not given another start until two games later against the Ravens. That contest, like much of the rest of the campaign, did not go according to plan as Mayfield has searched for a return to the form shown in his rookie season and interim head coach Steve Wilks has taken the remainder of the season to evaluate each available signal-caller on the roster.

With Darnold back to full health, Wilks made it clear that he would see action as the starter in the closing stages of the season. As expected, then, the failed Jets passer worked as a first-teamer in Carolina’s Week 12 win against the Broncos. He will do so again this week, with CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones noting that Walker will, to little surprise, serve as the backup (Twitter link). With Corral sidelined for the season, those two will see out the rest of the year for the 4-8 Panthers.

Darnold’s return spelled the end of the road for Mayfield in Carolina, but he will not be expensive for an acquiring team. Less than $1.5MM remains on his 2022 contract – the fifth-year option which made this a hugely important season for him as he approaches free agency. Given that figure, and the season-ending injury suffered by Jimmy Garoppolo yesterday, the 49ers represent an obvious candidate to put in a claim. San Francisco’s current QB depth chart consists of Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson, so Mayfield could at least compete with those two as the NFC West leaders look to make a deep playoff push despite their injuries at the position. If he goes unclaimed, Mayfield will become a free agent.

NFC South Notes: Panthers, Hayward, Wirfs

Next year’s running back market stands to feature a glut of starter-caliber options. Even if the Giants and Raiders respectively keep Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs from hitting free agency, potential first-time free agents Miles Sanders, Tony Pollard, David Montgomery, Damien Harris, Devin Singletary and Alexander Mattison are unsigned through 2023. Ditto Kareem Hunt, who is expected to hit the market after the Browns held off on a deadline trade. Jeff Wilson and Jamaal Williams would also be intriguing second-go-round UFAs, but the Panthers have a player in a similar position.

D’Onta Foreman signed a one-year, $2MM deal to relocate from Charlotte to Nashville this offseason, and he has continued his Titans pace. Christian McCaffrey‘s replacement, who ended up being Derrick Henry‘s top fill-in last year, now has seven 100-yard games over his past 13. Teams are monitoring the former third-round pick’s status, according to Jeremy Fowler of The Panthers have Chuba Hubbard signed through 2024, and although they are likely to change coaching staffs come January, Foreman makes sense as a re-sign candidate. Despite being a 2017 draftee, he is just 26. And thanks to a lengthy hiatus that covered much of a three-year stretch from 2018-20, the ex-Texas Longhorn only has 366 career carries. That bodes well for more quality seasons being ahead.

Here is the latest from the NFC South:

  • Casey Hayward has been on IR since mid-October; he has been eligible to return for a bit now. But the Falcons cornerback is not a lock to come back this year, per’s Scott Bair, who notes the 11th-year veteran underwent shoulder surgery after hitting the injured list. Hayward and the Saints’ Chris Harris are the NFL’s oldest active-roster cornerbacks, at 33, and the former represents a key defender for a team gunning for an unexpected division title. Hayward signed a two-year, $11MM deal to come over from Las Vegas. The Falcons have used second-year man Darren Hall in his place. Pro Football Focus does rank Hall, a fourth-round pick out of San Diego State, 35th overall among corners this season.
  • The Buccaneers are expected to be without Tristan Wirfs for a bit because of a high ankle sprain. While the team is hoping the All-Pro right tackle can return in three or four weeks, Fowler adds the third-year blocker could be facing a five- or six-week absence. Some ligament damage occurred, per Fowler, but Wirfs is not expected to need surgery. This timetable would put run up against the end of the regular season, though the Bucs have not placed Wirfs on IR yet.
  • Whereas Foreman’s free agency stock is rising, Baker Mayfield‘s keeps tumbling. Steve Wilks announced Sam Darnold will start in Week 14 against the Seahawks but stopped short of declaring Mayfield the backup, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets. Mayfield’s QB2 status depends on P.J. Walker‘s health, according to Wilks. This certainly points to Wilks having more confidence in the ex-XFLer. Despite pushing for Offensive Rookie of the Year acclaim and playing a lead role in snapping one of major American sports’ longest playoff droughts two years later, Mayfield will likely need to sign a one-year deal and attempt to prove himself once again. Mayfield, 27, remains last in QBR among qualified starters.

Panthers QB Notes: Darnold, Mayfield, Rhule, Herbert, Stafford, Tepper, Watson

Although the Panthers are starting Baker Mayfield in Week 11, they want to see Sam Darnold in action this season. Steve Wilks said he would like to give Darnold some work, though the interim HC did not indicate that would be certain to happen this week against the Ravens. “I’m interested in winning the game. This is not pay $250 to get to play,” Wilks said, via The Athletic’s Joe Person (on Twitter).

Carolina used one of its injury activations to move Darnold onto its 53-man roster last week, but the former No. 3 overall pick did not see any action against the Falcons. P.J. Walker is out of the picture for the time being, after becoming the third Carolina QB this season to suffer a high ankle sprain. Mayfield will make his first start since sustaining his ankle injury in Week 9. Here is the latest from what has become one of the more complex QB situations in recent NFL history:

  • After playing hurt last season, Mayfield has not turned it around. On the radar for a potential franchise-QB deal in 2021, Mayfield is on track for free agency for the first time. The market for the former No. 1 overall pick may check in at $5-$7MM on a prove-it deal, David Newton of notes. Mayfield’s 17.7 QBR ranks last in the NFL.
  • This situation has been in flux since Cam Newton‘s 2019 foot injury. Prior to the team making the Newton-for-Teddy Bridgewater change, GM Marty Hurney and most of the Panthers’ scouts were high on Justin Herbert. But Matt Rhule did not view 2020 as the window to draft a quarterback, with Jeremy Fowler of indicating in an expansive piece the team saw a jump from No. 7 overall to No. 4 — ahead of the QB-seeking Dolphins and Chargers — as too costly. While then-Giants GM Dave Gettleman was not keen on trading down, going most of his GM career without ever doing so, the Panthers not making a push for Herbert has led to QB chaos.
  • After the Panthers determined Bridgewater — a preference of former OC Joe Brady — would be a one-and-done in Charlotte, they made a big offer for Matthew Stafford. Negotiations between new Panthers GM Scott Fitterer and Lions rookie GM Brad Holmes at the 2021 Senior Bowl led to Panthers brass leaving Mobile believing they were set to acquire Stafford, Fowler notes. It is interesting to learn how far the GMs progressed in talks, because Stafford made it known soon after he did not want to play for the Panthers. The Rams then came in late with their two-first-rounder offer, forcing the Panthers and others to look elsewhere.
  • Rhule then pushed hard for Darnold, Fowler adds, after Panthers staffers went through film sessions evaluating he, Carson Wentz and Drew Lock. The Panthers sent the Jets second-, fourth- and sixth-round picks for the former No. 3 overall pick and picked up his guaranteed $18.9MM fifth-year option. Owner David Tepper begrudgingly picked up the option but became irked by the 2023 cost hanging over the franchise, per Fowler. Tepper is believed to have held up this year’s Mayfield trade talks in order to move the Browns to pick up more money on his option salary. The delay was connected to the Panthers already having Darnold’s fifth-year option to pay.
  • Tepper’s main prize during this multiyear QB odyssey, Deshaun Watson, was leery of the Panthers’ staff uncertainty, Fowler adds. All things being equal between the four finalists — Atlanta, Carolina, Cleveland, New Orleans — the Panthers were not believed to be Watson’s first choice. The Falcons were viewed as the team that would have landed Watson if the Browns did not make that unprecedented $230MM guarantee offer.
  • Fitterer offered support for a Mitch Trubisky signing this offseason, according to Fowler, who adds the team never engaged in extended talks with Jimmy Garoppolo‘s camp. While Garoppolo said the Panthers were in the mix, the team was believed to be leery of his injury history. Trubisky is in Year 1 of a two-year, $14.3MM deal. While Trubisky may well be available again in 2023, the Panthers — having added six draft picks from the Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson trades — will be connected to this year’s crop of QB prospects.

Panthers Name Baker Mayfield Week 11 Starter

The quarterback position has been the source of plenty of uncertainty this season for the Panthers, especially in recent weeks. Another injury is forcing a change under center as the team prepares for Week 11.

Interim head coach Steve Wilks announced on Monday that P.J. Walker suffered a high ankle sprain during Carolina’s Thursday night win over the Falcons. As a result, he will be unavailable for the team’s game against the Ravens, and Baker Mayfield will once again take on the starter’s role. Sam Darnold will serve as the backup.

Walker became the Panthers’ starter in Week 6 after Mayfield suffered his own ankle sprain. The former XFLer continued in that role even after Mayfield was healthy enough to return, though the latter replaced him in the second half of their blowout loss to the Bengals two weeks ago.

Mayfield’s performance in that game, along with the IR activation of Darnold, gave the Panthers their top two signal-callers from the offseason available to start last week. Instead, Wilks went back to Walker for the primetime rematch against Atlanta. He will likely be sidelined for multiple weeks as a result of the injury, but Wilks indicated that an IR stint is not currently being considered (Twitter link via team reporter Darin Grant).

Mayfield, who won out a training camp competition with Darnold after his long-expected arrival in Carolina, has plenty of experience against Baltimore. The former No. 1 pick spent four years with the Browns, during which time he met the Ravens on eight occasions. His level of play with Carolina before the injury was a key factor in the team’s offensive woes, and the firing of Matt Rhule.

That will lead to increased scrutiny for him as he begins his second stint as Carolina’s starter. Mayfield, like Darnold, is set to hit free agency this offseason, so improved play in the second half of the campaign from one (or both) of them could go a long way in determining their financial futures.