Sam Darnold not close to return from ankle injury

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said that he never considered pulling quarterback Baker Mayfield during Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals and that he had not given any thought to the possibility of turning to Sam Darnold as the starter once Darnold is back from a high-ankle sprain.

It looks like Rhule will have some time to ponder any and all possibilities regarding Darnold. Darnold is eligible to come off injured reserve, but Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Darnold is not close to being ready and that it will still be a while before he’ll be an option in Carolina.

Darnold was injured in the team’s final preseason game on August 26.

Mayfield was 22-of-36 for 197 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions in Sunday’s 26-16 loss. That represented his highest completion percentage of the year as he’d failed to reach 50 percent the previous two weeks and has gone 64-of-117 for 747 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions for the year.