Panthers QB Baker Mayfield Explains Headbutting Teammates Without Helmet On

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Carolina Panthers (3-7) quarterback Baker Mayfield has offered a reason as to why he headbutted his teammates without a helmet on last Thursday.

“I’ve always done that, it just so happened to get caught on camera,” Mayfield said Wednesday, via Panthers Wire. “I’ve done that since college. I love this game. I love my teammates. We work too hard not to enjoy it. Yeah, a good headbutt every once in a while goes a long way.”

Mayfield, 27, made news during his team’s 25-15 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (4-6) in Week 10 even without playing a snap. In the closing moments of the game, Mayfield headbutted his teammates without wearing a helmet — a move which puzzled many given the NFL‘s ignited emphasis on concussions.

Remarkably, Mayfield didn’t find himself in concussion protocol this week, which Amazon Prime play-by-play man Al Michael originally feared.

“Good way to wind up in concussion protocol even though you don’t get in the game,” Michaels said.

Baker Mayfield Regains Starting Spot for Panthers

Mayfield instead finds himself back under center as QB1 for the Panthers. P.J. Walker, who has gone 2-3 in five starts this season, suffered a high ankle sprain Thursday and is out for the Week 11 road tilt against the Baltimore Ravens (6-3). That has paved the way for Mayfield to get his first start since Week 5.

Carolina went 1-4 under Mayfield, who has completed 56.6% of his passes for 1,117 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. He will be backed up by Sam Darnold, who is making his return from an ankle injury.

Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks talked about the keys to success with Mayfield at quarterback.

“Everything starts up front,” Wilks said Monday, via ESPN. “We’ve got to do a great job of really establishing the run game, and when we do pass, we’ve got to do a great job of giving him a clean pocket so he can go through his progressions and get the ball down the field.”