The Carolina Panthers made a controversial decision to end the season of quarterback Cam Newton, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury. With Darnold’s team in playoff contention and his own future uncertain, the USC product is now back on the market.
The Carolina Panthers opted to take a big risk before the 2021 NFL season even started.
They were entrusting their future on former New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, who had failed to live up to the hoopla surrounding his first-round draft pick. The Darnold tenure in New York was a total catastrophe, because to terrible coaching, a weak offensive line, a lack of overall weapons, and, yes, awful performance from Darnold himself.
Early indications suggested Darnold would have a bounce-back season with the Panthers. However, given recent injury news from Carolina, things may rapidly deteriorate.
Sam Darnold is reacquainting himself with reality.
Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images/Sam Darnold
Before going into detail about the Panthers’ latest IR move, it’s essential to note that Darnold hasn’t had a very fruitful two weeks.
He threw two interceptions in a blowout defeat to the Dallas Cowboys and three more picks in a humiliating home loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Several of Darnold’s errors and bad readings during these two defeats seemed to be disturbingly identical to those he made with the Jets.
These two poor performances don’t change the fact that Darnold started the season with three consecutive victories. Darnold, on the other hand, will have to re-earn the confidence of his fans in the coming months.
Christian McCaffrey has been put on injured reserve by the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has been put on injured reserve, which means he will miss at least three more games.
October 16, 2021 — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
Darnold’s struggles against the Cowboys and Eagles were exacerbated by the absence of his best offensive weapon, Christian McCaffrey. The All-Pro running back is currently dealing with a hamstring issue, and the latest news on his health was not encouraging.
McCaffrey was placed on injured reserve by the Panthers, putting him out for at least the next three weeks.
McCaffrey is a quarterback’s closest buddy in the world. During the first few games of the season, his presence in the receiving game made Darnold’s job simpler. During Weeks 1-3, McCaffrey caught 16 receptions on 17 targets, on top of the 52 carries he got.
The Panthers’ offense relies heavily on McCaffrey. In fact, you might make the case that he is the team’s most significant offensive player. The loss of Darnold for the next three games takes the wind out of the team’s sails and leaves him in a vulnerable situation going forward.
What’s next for Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold?
The Panthers have games against the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons on their schedule. On paper, these are games that can be won. The Panthers’ defense is still one of the league’s best-coached groups. During each of these three games, they should be able to keep the offense within striking distance.
With McCaffrey out of the picture, Darnold will have to carry all of the weight in these games. He’s already shown that he can’t handle this kind of responsibility.
Darnold has shown time and time again that he isn’t talented enough to be the main force of an NFL offense, whether with the Jets in his early years or with the Panthers in their most recent two defeats. Due to a very light schedule over the next three weeks, this may change. It would be preferable if you didn’t hold your breath.
Darnold’s comeback season is about to come tumbling down around him.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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