Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold splitting first-team reps, for now

Sport

Many assume that quarterback Baker Mayfield will be the Week One starter for the Panthers. That assumption may be accurate. Still, he’ll have to earn it.

Via Andrew Siciliano of NFL Network, coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday that quarterback Sam Darnold took the first-team reps today, and that Mayfield will take them on Thursday.

It will be the first test of Mayfield’s mindset, if his experiences in Cleveland have caused him to grow and mature. How will he handle not getting the full complement of first-team opportunities, especially as he’s trying to get ready for the games that count?

Darnold had a built-in advantage, given that he participated in the offseason program with the Panthers. Mayfield has some catching up to do. And it’s harder to do that if he’s not getting the chance to do so.