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NFL: Report: Panthers lose QB Sam Darnold for several weeks, sign Matt Barkley

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Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is expected to miss several weeks after tests revealed he has an incomplete scapula fracture in his throwing shoulder, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, NFL Network also reported that Carolina would sign quarterback Matt Barkley off the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad.

Darnold entered concussion protocol after absorbing a big hit during a Week 8 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. He was cleared in time for the next game, but according to NFL Network, the hit likely caused Darnold’s shoulder injury as well.

PJ Walker is the No. 2 QB behind Darnold on Carolina’s depth chart. A former XFL star, Walker relieved Darnold in the Panthers’ Week 7 loss to the New York Giants last month and went 3-for-14 passing for 33 yards, taking three sacks.

After a 3-0 start, the Panthers have lost five of their last six, including a 24-6 defeat to the New England Patriots on Sunday. Darnold went 16-for-33 in that game with 172 yards, three interceptions and zero touchdowns. Cameras caught teammate Robby Anderson visibly upset and shouting at Darnold.

Carolina acquired Darnold in April from the New York Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and second- and fourth-round picks in 2022. They later shipped Teddy Bridgewater to Denver, lining Darnold up to earn his place as the franchise quarterback.

Darnold has started all nine games for Carolina in 2021 and has thrown for 1,986 yards, seven touchdowns and a league-high 11 interceptions with a 59.5 percent completion rate.

Walker is expected to start Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, NFL Network reported.

Barkley, 31, has appeared in 19 games for the Philadelphia Eagles (2013-14), Chicago Bears (2016) and Buffalo Bills (2018-20), mostly in a backup capacity. He made six of his seven career starts for the Bears in 2016. Barkley owns a 58.4 career completion percentage and a 1-to-2 TD-INT ratio (11 touchdowns, 22 picks).

–Field Level Media

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