Panthers QB Baker Mayfield to start preseason opener

Baker Mayfield will be the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers’ preseason opener Saturday afternoon at Washington.

The team announced Saturday morning that Mayfield will take the first series against the Commanders and Sam Darnold will take the second. PJ Walker and rookie Matt Corral will handle the rest of the game.

Head coach Matt Rhule has called determining a Week 1 starter an “ongoing process.”

“When we know, we know,” Rhule said. “If we knew for sure, we would say it and just move on with it. When we, we know. Every day brings new evidence. Every day brings new insights. But at the same time, they’re both competitors. If one guy has a strong day, the next guy fights back the next day. I think it’s been healthy for our team. It’s been healthy for the staff. I think it’s been done the right way. I’m pleased with where it’s at.”

Mayfield, 27, completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,010 yards, 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 starts last season for the Browns.

Darnold, 25, completed 59.9 percent of his passes for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 12 games (11 starts) for the Panthers in 2021.

Mayfield and Darnold were the Nos. 1 and 3 overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, respectively.

The Panthers also announced that defensive tackle Derrick Brown will miss the game for personal reasons.