Jul 28, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA;  Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) throws a pass during the Carolina Panthers Training Camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers to debut Sam Darnold; D.J. Moore, Brian Burns hurt

Sam Darnold is suiting up for the Panthers’ preseason game Saturday and Carolina coach Matt Rhule plans to have the quarterback debut, if only for one series.

Darnold could play “one or two” series against the visiting Baltimore Ravens, Rhule said, but a final decision isn’t likely to be made until gametime.

Darnold was acquired from the New York Jets in an offseason trade and replaces quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who landed with the Denver Broncos.

The Panthers won’t know the status of two starters injured Thursday — wide receiver D.J. Moore and pass rusher Brian Burns — but neither is likely to suit up for the weekend exhibition.

Burns watched practice with a wrap on his shoulder and Moore left a joint workout with the Ravens on Thursday with stiffness in his back.

–Field Level Media

New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) gets rid of the ball as he's hit by Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Jordan Elliott (90) in the second half. The Jets defeat the Browns, 23-16, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford.

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Panthers commit to QB Sam Darnold, WR DJ Moore through 2022

Quarterback Sam Darnold and wide receiver DJ Moore are guaranteed contracts with the Panthers through 2022 after Carolina picked up their fifth-year options on Friday.

Darnold, acquired from the New York Jets for two draft picks, also was validated as the undisputed starter in Carolina on Thursday. The Panthers passed on multiple prospects at the position to select cornerback Jaycee Horn eighth overall in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

“I’m not going to talk about other players; we brought Sam here for a reason,” Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said. “We’re excited to see what he can do. We’re excited to give him an opportunity. We traded for him because we believe in his potential.”

The option will pay Darnold just under $20 million for 2022. He’s scheduled to make $9.7 million in 2021.

Darnold was selected No. 3 overall in 2018. Jets general manager Joe Douglas and former head coach Adam Gase admitted multiple failures by the Jets impacted Darnold’s development.

The Panthers selected Moore with the No. 24 overall pick in 2018. He’s coming off of a career-best year with 1,193 receiving yards in 2020.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater started for the Panthers last season but was traded to the Denver Broncos earlier this week.

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban runs onto the field with his team prior to kickoff against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama flips DE from LSU to open Early Signing Period

Alabama got off to a strong start on Wednesday in its quest to land the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for 2021 with the signing of four-star defensive end Keanu Koht, a talent the Crimson Tide wrestled away from conference rival LSU.

Koht, ranked the No. 12 overall player at his position by the 247Sports composite, had been committed to the Tigers since July 4. But on Wednesday, the first day of Early Signing Period, he decommitted from LSU and flipped to Alabama.

The Crimson Tide opened Wednesday with the No. 1 class, with Ohio State a close second.

The Alabama class is anchored by six five-star prospects. As of Wednesday morning, three of them – offensive linemen JC Latham from Florida and Tommy Brockermeyer from Texas, and wide receiver Jacorey Brooks, also from Florida – had signed their national letters of intent.

Other notable news, commitments and signings Wednesday:

–Safety Josh Moore signed with UCLA, giving the Bruins their first four-star signee in the class. Moore, from Atlanta, is the No. 25 safety in the nation, per 247Sports.

He selected the Bruins over Michigan State.

“It’s a really good academic school which is of course my top priority,” Moore told 247Sports. “They’re on the come up in football. It’s a great market out there in LA. I like the coaching staff. They seem really chill and professional.”

–TCU signed a pair of four-star prospects: running back Ahmonte Watkins and dual-threat quarterback Sam Jackson.

Watkins, a Houston product, is listed as the No. 4 all-purpose back in the nation. Jackson, from Illinois, is ranked No. 13 at his position by the 247Sports composite.

–Field Level Media

Sep 7, 2019; West Lafayette, IN, USA;  Purdue Boilermakers wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) runs the ball against Vanderbilt Commodores safety Max Worship (14) at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue WR Moore missing another game

Purdue standout receiver Rondale Moore will miss Saturday’s home game against Northwestern, the school announced.

This will mark the third straight contest Moore has missed this season. He hasn’t played in a game in nearly 14 months.

Purdue hasn’t divulged why Moore is sidelined. ESPN reported that he has a lower-body injury.

Moore was a star as a freshman in 2018 when he scored 14 total touchdowns (12 receiving, two rushing) and caught 114 passes for 1,258 yards to earn All-America honors. He added 213 rushing yards and also had 662 yards on kickoff returns and 82 on punts.

He was off to a strong start in 2019 with 29 receptions for 387 yards and two touchdowns before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury during the Boilermakers’ fourth game of the season.

Moore initially opted out of the 2020 season in early August but changed his mind in late September.

The Boilermakers next play Nov. 20 at Minnesota.

–Field Level Media