What happened to Baker Mayfield? Why is he not playing?

The Carolina Panthers are heading for a matchup with the Los Angles Rams at SoFi Stadium today, but Baker Mayfield will not start. Though the quarterback plays pretty poorly en route to a 1-4 start, he won’t be benched for PJ Walker.

He injured his ankle last week in the demoralizing loss to the San Francisco 49ers that led to the firing of head coach Matt Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow.

The quarterback was initially thought to go on injured reserve, but he was healthy enough to avoid that fate. Instead, he is treated daily with the ankle injury.

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The man he replaced this season, Sam Darnold, is currently on injured reserve having sustained an ankle injury in the preseason.

Will Baker Mayfield lose his job this year?

Although his absence from the starting line-up today is due to injury, there were rumors he could eventually be benched for Darnold when he returns.

Rhule’s shot seems to indicate the Panthers might believe Mayfield was being held back, but offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo avoided the ax.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers

If he continues to play poorly, there’s a very good chance the Panthers, who have made many quarterback changes over the past three seasons, are trying something different.

If that happens, it likely means Mayfield won’t be re-signed this offseason. He was brought in to provide stability in a position Carolina had been missing since they cut Cam Newton a few years ago.

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The former Cleveland Browns quarterback was looking for a fresh start after being substituted for Deshaun Watson. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’s found a permanent home or landed himself a major contract.

For now, though, his absence with the Panthers is purely injury-related and not a one-for-one touchdown-to-interception ratio.

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Edited by Zachary Roberts

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