Reports: Sam Darnold still Panthers’ starter; Deshaun Watson talk revs up
After Sam Darnold’s benching in the Carolina Panthers’ 25-3 loss to the host New York Giants on Sunday, the fourth-year quarterback heard both good and bad news about his potential future as the starter.
On the one hand, Panthers coach Matt Rhule told reporters, “Sam will be our quarterback next week. He will be our quarterback moving forward.”
However, a report from The Athletic on Sunday indicated that the Panthers are now expected to engage in trade talks with the Houston Texans for embattled star quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Darnold went 16 of 25 passing for 111 yards and an interception against the Giants on Sunday. In seven starts this season, the third overall pick of the New York Jets in 2018, is 153 of 249 passing (61.4 percent) for 1,684 yards for seven touchdowns and eight interceptions.
“I can’t look to the future, but I don’t believe it will (change the team’s approach to the trade deadline),” Rhule said, regarding Sunday’s outcome, according to The Athletic.
“Everybody’s disappointed right now. There’s emotions flying around, all those things. But you saw the game, it wasn’t very good in any regard,” Rhule said.
The Panthers (3-4) lost their fourth straight game after winning their first three games.
Previously, the Panthers were showing no interest publicly or privately in trying to land Watson, according to The Athletic.
Watson has not played this season. He is facing nearly two dozen civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct, and 10 criminal complaints have been file against him. He has maintained his innocence to all of the accusations.
In four NFL seasons, all with the Texans, Watson has completed 67.8 percent of his passes for 14,539 yards with 104 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. He also has rushed for 1,677 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins are believed to be interested in trying to acquire Watson before the Nov. 2 trade deadline.
The Panthers visit the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.
–Field Level Media