Sam Darnold officially questionable ahead of Sunday’s clash vs New England

Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold passes against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) – Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is officially questionable ahead of the team’s home date with the New England Patriots on Sunday as the signal-caller remains in concussion protocol.

Darnold has been limited all week and has not cleared the NFL’s five steps as of Friday evening.

The NFL states a player has passed protocol after he has completed, in order, the stages of rest and recovery, light aerobic activities, more aerobic exercise and strength training, football-specific activities, and full football activity.

Carolina listed Darnold as a limited participant in its walk-through, boding more questions ahead of Sunday. Since the team did not have a contact practice, the true availability of Darnold is unknown.

Head coach Matt Rhule said Friday that Darnold will need clearance from an independent neurologist in order to play at this point, a report from CBS Sports said.

Darnold exited Carolina’s Week 8 victory against division-rival Atlanta with an injury. If he cannot suit up, it’ll be back up P.J. Walker who relieved him last week. According to the same CBS Sports report, Walker has been taking first-team repetitions all week.

Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. in Charlotte.

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