P.J. Walker to Start for Carolina in Week 8

Carolina Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker
Carolina Panthers quarterback P.J. Walker
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 7 - Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks announced Monday that quarterback P.J. Walker will start Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons. 

The news comes just a day after the Panthers' 21-3 upset over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Walker finished the day 16-for-22 with 177 passing yards and two touchdowns against a Tampa Bay defense that ranked fourth in defensive DVOA coming into Sunday. 

"It's going to be tough to not put him back in there," said Wilks, via the Panthers' official website. "As of right now, I don't see any reason to. I still want to evaluate things through the week, but I thought his performance yesterday was really impressive, just the things he did, from commanding the offense, pushing the ball downfield.

"He and I talked about a few things, we were in great field goal position and took a sack; that's something we can't do. . . . Other than that, I thought he had a great football game."

The decision comes amidst speculation around the health of the other quarterbacks on their roster. Both Baker Mayfield (ankle) and Sam Darnold (concussion) returned to practice this past week as limited participants. 

The Carolina Panthers posted their only positive offensive DVOA of the season in Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers' 77.9% offensive passing DVOA was the highest in a single game for Carolina since Week 4 in 2020, While Walker does not have the same sample size as Mayfield's current stint or Darnold's 2021 season, his numbers stack up well against the competition. 

  • P.J. Walker, 2022 (49 att.): 5.6% DVOA, 33 QBR
  • Baker Mayfield, 2022 (168 att.): -43.5% DVOA, 15.3 QBR
  • Sam Darnold, 2021 (441 att.): -31.6% DVOA, 33.2 QBR

Walker has started four games with the Panthers since 2021, boastign a record of 3-1 over that span. 

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