Sam Darnold started the Panthers’ Week 7 game against the Giants. He didn’t finish it.
The Panthers benched Darnold in the early stages of the fourth quarter. Carolina was trailing 15-3 at the time that Darnold was pulled. Backup PJ Walker came into the game to replace him.
Darnold wasn’t reported to have suffered an injury at the time of his benching. Thus, it can be assumed that his benching was performance-related.
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Why did the Panthers bench Sam Darnold?
Darnold struggled immensely against the Giants’ defense. He completed 16 of 25 passes but totaled just 111 passing yards, good for an average of 4.4 yards per attempt. He didn’t record a touchdown, was sacked three times and threw an ugly interception.
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This was the latest in a string of poor games for Darnold. In his previous three games, he had completed just 54.7 percent of his passes for 685 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions. The Panthers lost all three of those games will extend that losing streak to four with their loss against the Giants.
It’s safe to say that Darnold’s return to Metlife Stadium did little to inspire hope that the Panthers can regain form. Perhaps that’s why rumors surrounding the Panthers and Deshaun Watson are starting to heat up ahead of the 2021 NFL trade deadine.