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Sam Darnold

Carolina Panthers
Quarterback #14
Carolina Panthers
Quarterback #14
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Sam Darnold News

Scores twice on ground

Darnold completed 23 of 34 passes for 304 yards in Thursday night's 24-9 win over the Texans. He also rushed eight times for 11 yards and two touchdowns.

Analysis: Darnold found wideout DJ Moore early and often, setting up his untouched score on a five-yard keeper in the first quarter. The signal-caller then was forced to cope with Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) exiting the contest, stalling the offense a bit while he faced more pressure. Although Darnold fumbled twice while being sacked, Carolina fortunately recovered both times, and Darnold rallied to put together a strong second half that included a few big throws under duress. In the end, he was rewarded with a one-yard sneak for a touchdown, effectively icing the game with four minutes left. With six total touchdowns versus two turnovers through his 3-0 start with the Panthers, Darnold carries welcomed momentum into Week 4's matchup against the Cowboys.

Sep 23, 2021 8:45 PM EST

Sharp in win over Saints

Darnold completed 26 of 38 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns with one interception in Sunday's 26-7 win over the Saints.

Analysis: He also picked up seven rushing yards on his lone carry. Darnold's second game in a Panthers uniform went even better than his first, as he picked apart a New Orleans defense that just shut down Aaron Rodgers in its opener. Both Darnold's TDs came in the first two quarters, as he found Brandon Zylstra and DJ Moore on red-zone strikes and then didn't need to air things out after halftime. The former Jets quarterback is in good shape to make it three wins, and three productive games, in a row when Carolina heads to Houston for a Thursday night tilt in Week 3.

Sep 19, 2021 2:31 PM EST

Hot start in Panthers debut

Darnold completed 24 of 35 passes for 279 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 19-14 win over the Jets. He added a rushing touchdown but finished with minus-1 rushing yard on five attempts and a lost fumble.

Analysis: Darnold delivered a tremendous first-half performance against the team that traded him away in the offseason. He set a new first-half career high with 234 passing yards, including a 57-yard deep ball for a touchdown to former Jets teammate Robby Anderson, and Darnold added a five-yard rushing score for good measure to take a 16-0 lead into the halftime break. Carolina's offense stalled after intermission, but the Panthers were able to hold on and start the Darnold era with a win. They'll remain at home in Week 2 with the Saints coming to town.

Sep 12, 2021 1:37 PM EST

Engineers three scoring drives

Darnold completed 19 of his 25 pass attempts for 162 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Friday's preseason game against the Steelers.

Analysis: As can be implied from his production, Darnold played for a significant amount of time in the team's preseason finale. He and the offense didn't have a significant amount of success early on, but ultimately he managed a pair of touchdown passes that came from 13 and eight yards away. All told, Darnold led six offensive drives and played the entirety of the first half. After this lengthy warmup, Darnold should now be ready for a Week 1 matchup against his former team.

Aug 27, 2021 9:07 PM EST

In line to play Friday

Darnold is expected to play a half, or perhaps less if things are going well, in Friday's preseason finale against the Steelers, David Newton of reports.

Analysis: Newton notes that the plan applies to Carolina's healthy first-teamers, minus Christian McCaffrey. Thus far, Darnold's preseason activity has been limited to one series last weekend against the Ravens.

Aug 27, 2021 3:05 PM EST

Brief showing Saturday

Darnold completed 1-of-2 passes for 16 yards in Saturday's preseason game against Baltimore.

Analysis: Darnold's completion was to his former Jets teammate Robby Anderson, whose appearance hopefully marked an end to the hamstring issue that kept the wideout out of training camp recently. Darnold goes into the regular season with an uncertain projection in Carolina, but with Anderson, D.J. Moore and Terrace Marshall at receiver he'll have his best playing situation to this point in his NFL career.

Aug 21, 2021 7:23 PM EST

Likely playing against Ravens

Coach Matt Rhule said Thursday that he's "leaning towards" giving Darnold a small amount of playing time in Saturday's preseason game against Baltimore, Alaina Getzenberg of The Charlotte Observer reports.

Analysis: Rhule said he'll play several starters, likely including Darnold, though the coach wasn't willing to commit to anything, and did suggest it might be for only a drive or two. It makes sense to give the No. 2 overall pick at least a little bit of work this preseason, given that his team, coaching staff and pass catchers (besides Robby Anderson) are all new. If Darnold does play Saturday, he may not have Anderson (hamstring) or DJ Moore (back) at his disposal. Darnold didn't play in Carolina's preseason opener last week.

Aug 19, 2021 8:07 AM EST

Debut with Carolina delayed

Coach Matt Rhule said Darnold won't suit up for Sunday's preseason game at Indianapolis, Alaina Getzenberg of The Charlotte Observer reports.

Analysis: Darnold will have to wait to get his first taste of in-game action until Saturday, Aug. 21 against the Ravens, at the earliest. Rhule specifically mentioned "most of the starters" will join Darnold on the sideline this weekend, which likely means Christian McCaffrey, Robby Anderson and DJ Moore will log DNPs as well.

Aug 13, 2021 3:09 PM EST

Contract option picked up

The Panthers have picked up Darnold's fifth-year contract option, Joe Person of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Per the report, the decision to do so guarantees Darnold $18.9 million in 2022, keeping him under team control for the next two seasons. Darnold, who the Panthers obtained from the Jets last month in exchange for second-, fourth- and sixth-round draft picks, thus appears locked in as the team's franchise signal-caller for the foreseeable future. That's a notion solidified by the team having dealt Teddy Bridgewater to Denver on Wednesday and then passing on taking a QB with the eighth overall pick in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday. Currently in the mix to back up Darnold are Will Grier, P.J. Walker and Tommy Stevens, but it's possible the team could bring in additional competition for the assignment.

Apr 30, 2021 9:33 AM EST

Dealt to Carolina

The Jets are trading Darnold to the Panthers.

Analysis: The Jets ended up with a pretty good haul, getting a 2021 sixth-round pick, a 2022 second-rounder and a 2022 fourth-rounder, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. A Teddy Bridgewater trade could be on deck, while the Panthers are planning to exercise the fifth-year option on Darnold's rookie contract, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports.

Apr 5, 2021 1:26 PM EST

Jets now taking calls

General manager Joe Douglas said Wednesday he will "answer the call" when trade offers come in for Darnold, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Douglas also said that his stance on Darnold "hasn't changed," per Hughes, and that he has "no doubt" about the young signal-caller eventually achieving his "outstanding potential." However, as recently as late February it was reported that the Jets wouldn't consider making a move at quarterback until evaluations of April's draft class had been fully completed, so announcing that the team will participate in trade talks is a significant change in tone. Rich Cimini of reports that Douglas still feels there's "no hard timetable" on a decision regarding Darnold's future, though. With the No. 3 overall pick in hand, the Jets will certainly be in position to select one of the top quarterbacks of the 2021 NFL Draft if the team does decide to move on from Darnold.

Mar 3, 2021 9:46 AM EST

Jets still evaluating options

The Jets intend to fully evaluate the 2021 NFL Draft's to quarterback prospects before making a decision about Darnold's future with the team, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Rapoport notes that the Jets have gotten 'real interest' about dealing Darnold, who the team selected No. 3 overall back in the 2018 NFL Draft, but that any deal will have to wait until after top prospects have completed their Pro Days and subsequent interviews. Ralph Vacchiano of SportsNet New York recently estimated that Darnold could return value around the range of a "second-round pick, plus maybe another mid-to-late rounder" should the Jets indeed decide to deal him, with potential suitors including the Bears, Panthers, Broncos, 49ers, Patriots and Washington Football Team. Darnold, who will turn 24 this offseason, is coming off a pedestrian third year, with just 2,208 passing yards and a 9:11 TD:INT across 12 appearances. He was noticeably more productive in 2019 over a similar span of games, with 3,024 passing yards and a 19:13 TD:INT in 13 contests.

Feb 22, 2021 9:19 AM EST

Picked twice in likely NY swan song

Darnold completed 23 of 34 passes for 266 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in Sunday's 28-14 loss to the Patriots. He added three yards on one rushing attempt in the season finale.

Analysis: After struggling to move the football for most of the first half, Darnold tied the score at seven apiece with a 21-yard touchdown to Chris Herndon 1:40 before halftime. He was picked off with the game tied at 14 apiece in the third quarter and threw a crucial interception in the end zone to end New York's chances of coming back in the fourth. This pedestrian performance remarkably marked a season high in passing yards for Darnold, who finishes his third NFL season with 2,208 yards and an ugly 9:11 TD:INT in 12 appearances. Given the regression from the third overall pick in the 2018 draft, New York is expected to draft Darnold's replacement with the second overall pick in the upcoming draft.

Jan 3, 2021 2:39 PM EST

Turnover-free in second straight W

Darnold completed 16 of 32 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 23-16 win over the Browns. He added 20 yards on seven rushing attempts.

Analysis: After throwing a key block on a 44-yard Jamison Crowder passing touchdown to Braxton Berrios in the first quarter, Darnold tossed a touchdown pass of his own from 11 yards out to Chris Herndon in the second. The third-year quarterback added a 30-yard touchdown to Crowder to take a 20-3 lead in the third, and the Jets were able to hang on from there. Darnold's TD:INT is still a dreadful 8:9 and he hasn't thrown for more than 230 yards in a game this year, but he has now gone three consecutive games without an interception for the first time since the last three weeks of his rookie season. Keeping that streak alive won't be easy in Week 17 against a Patriots defense that has flummoxed Darnold in their previous meetings.

Dec 27, 2020 2:52 PM EST

Shocks Rams for first win of 2020

Darnold completed 22 of 31 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 23-20 upset of the Rams. He added 18 rushing yards on five carries.

Analysis: The former USC Trojan put together a workmanlike performance in his return to Los Angeles, but Darnold avoided making mistakes against a tough Rams defense and did just enough to get the Jets their first win of the season -- and hurt the team's chances of being able to draft Trevor Lawrence to replace him in the process. It was the first time Darnold had topped 200 passing yards since Week 4, giving him some glimmer of momentum heading into Week 16's home tilt against the Browns.

Dec 20, 2020 6:11 PM EST

Sleepy performance in Seattle

Darnold completed 14 of 26 passes for 132 yards in Sunday's 40-3 loss to the Seahawks.

Analysis: While the quarterback didn't commit any turnovers, there were no other positives to take away from this performance for Darnold, or for the Jets offense as a whole. It's the fifth straight start in which he's failed to throw for at least 200 yards, and Darnold's fantasy outlook doesn't figure to improve in Week 15 on the road against the Rams.

Dec 13, 2020 6:38 PM EST

Three total TDs in heartbreaking L

Darnold completed 14 of 23 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Sunday's 31-28 loss to the Raiders. He added three carries for 26 yards and a touchdown, lost two fumbles and threw a two-point conversion.

Analysis: Darnold threw a pair of first-half touchdowns to Jamison Crowder but also turned it over three times, with an interception and two fumbles. He took better care of the ball in the second half and pulled New York within three with a physical four-yard rushing touchdown followed by a two-point conversion to Denzel Mims. His first attempt at the two-point try was intercepted, but Darnold made the most of a second chance provided by a flag on the defense. Ty Johnson's one-yard rushing score on the ensuing possession put New York up by four in the fourth quarter, but the Jets went 3-and-out with a chance to run out the clock and allowed a 46-yard touchdown to Henry Ruggs with five seconds left to fall to 0-12. Darnold's capable of the occasional big play with his legs but still has a dreadful 5:9 TD:INT heading into a Week 14 trip to Seattle, as this was his first multi-touchdown passing performance of the season.

Dec 6, 2020 1:37 PM EST

Struggles in return

Darnold (shoulder) completed 16 of 27 passes for 197 yards and two interceptions while adding nine yards on two rushing attempts in Sunday's 20-3 loss to the Dolphins.

Analysis: Darnold came out hot in his first action since Week 8, hitting all three of his passes for 60 yards on the opening drive, but New York had to settle for a field goal after a third-down sack. He cooled down from there, as a missed chip shot field goal and a turnover on downs deep in Miami territory were all the Jets could muster the rest of the way. Darnold has been outplayed by backup Joe Flacco this season, as the third-year quarterback has a dreadful 3:8 TD:INT in seven appearances heading into a Week 13 meeting with the Raiders.

Nov 29, 2020 1:10 PM EST

To end two-game absence Sunday

Darnold (right shoulder) has been cleared to start Sunday versus the Dolphins, Rich Cimini of reports.

Analysis: After capping the week with back-to-back full listings on the injury report, Darnold is ready to suit up for the first time since Week 8. In six appearances this season, he's managed to surpass 200 yards twice, but Miami only boasts a mid-tier pass defense (20th, 246.4 yards per game). Having said that, Darnold likely will be without a familiar right tackle, as both George Fant (ankle) and Chuma Edoga (ankle) both are doubtful to play Sunday.

Nov 27, 2020 1:36 PM EST

Set to start Sunday

Darnold (shoulder) is expected to start Sunday against the Dolphins, Ralph Vacchiano of SportsNet New York reports.

Analysis: The 23-year-old is set to practice without limitations for the second straight day, putting him on track to return from a two-game absence this weekend, barring a setback. Assuming all goes well during Friday's practice, Darnold should avoid an injury designation for Sunday.

Nov 27, 2020 8:16 AM EST

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