Mayfield gets nod for Panthers’ preseason opener

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Baker Mayfield will start at quarterback for the Carolina Panthers in today’s preseason opener at Washington.

Mayfield is in what the Panthers call an “open” competition with 2021 starter Sam Darnold for the starting job. He will play the first series today, and Darnold the second.

The two split reps with the first team in the first phase of training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, that ended on Wednesday.

Coach Matt Rhule recently said he won’t make a decision on his starter for Week 1 against Cleveland until after next week’s joint practices at New England and Friday’s preseason game against the Patriots.

His mantra since camp opened has been “when we know, we know.”

But Mayfield was first up in Thursday night’s FanFest at Bank of America Stadium, and now he’s starting the preseason opener, signs the team is leaning toward him.

Carolina acquired Mayfield last month in a trade with the Browns, who replaced the top pick of the 2018 draft with Deshaun Watson.

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