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Carolina Panthers Make Official Decision On Quarterback Sam Darnold

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers could be getting some help soon at a position where they badly need it.

On Wednesday, the Panthers designated quarterback Sam Darnold to return from the injured reserve.

Darnold has been in IR for the first six weeks of the season due to a high ankle sprain.

"The Panthers have designated QB Sam Darnold to return from IR." -- Field Yates

Just because the team has designated Darnold to return, however, doesn't necessarily mean he will take the field when the Panthers host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week. The Panthers have three weeks to return him to the active roster.

The 1-5 Panthers will hope Darnold is able to return to the field sooner rather than later because their quarterback situation has been a mess.

Baker Mayfield started the first five games of the season and struggled. He then suffered an ankle sprain of his own, leading to P.J. Walker replacing him behind center. Walker started the Panthers' Week Six loss to the Rams but left the game with a neck injury, forcing Jacob Eason into action. 

Walker and Eason combined to throw for just 110 yards. On the season, the Panthers rank 29th in the league in passing at 169.7 yards per game.

Darnold, the former No. 3 overall draft pick by the New York Jets in 2018, started 11 games for the Panthers and did not perform well, throwing nine touchdowns versus 13 interceptions. 

However, with both Mayfield and Walker currently injured, he would likely be the team's best option against the Bucs this week, if healthy.