Panthers' Darnold benched in lopsided loss to Giants

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The Carolina Panthers will stick with Sam Darnold as their starting quarterback despite benching him Sunday in an ugly loss to the New York Giants.

"Just felt like we needed somewhat of a spark," Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said after the 25-3 defeat, via ESPN's David Newton. "Sam will be our quarterback next week. He will be our quarterback moving forward."

P.J. Walker relieved Darnold, who completed 16 of 25 passes for 111 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. The Panthers picked up only eight first downs and amassed 137 total yards with Darnold versus the Giants.

The 24-year-old passer entered Week 7 with 1,573 passing yards for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions with a 61.2% completion percentage.

"The last thing you want to do is embarrass somebody, because you know this is going to be the story this week," Rhule said. "Sam will define who he is."

Carolina started the 2021 season with three consecutive wins but has now lost four straight.

Walker didn't attempt a pass through the first six games of the year after appearing in four contests with one start in 2020. The 26-year-old signed with the Panthers last season following a strong stint in the XFL.

Panthers' Darnold benched in lopsided loss to Giants
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