Baker Mayfield didn’t feature in the Carolina Panthers‘ (3-7) 25-15 Week 10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons (4-6) on “Thursday Night Football.”
But if you see him pop up on this week’s injury report with a concussion, don’t be surprised. Mayfield didn’t need a snap to potentially find himself in the protocol, as in the moments leading up to the Panthers’ win being official, he headbutted his teammates. While his teammates had their helmets on, Mayfield was wearing the customary backup quarterback’s ball cap.
Amazon Prime play-by-play man Al Michaels said it best when the moment was shown on the broadcast.
“Good way to wind up in concussion protocol even thought you don’t get in the game,” Michaels said.
Given the increased emphasis on concussions in the NFL this season, the sight of Mayfield head butting his teammates helmet-less likely made the league office cringe. And for good reason.
Mayfield’s head butt comes as P.J. Walker, who replaced him as the starter, led Carolina to victory at home. Walker completed 10-of-16 passes for 108 yards, as it was the Panthers’ running game which led the way. Carolina ran for 232 yards, 130 coming from running back D’Onta Foreman.
Baker Mayfield Reacts to New Role as Carolina Panthers Backup QB
The Panthers have managed to pick up two wins since Walker took over under center. His emergence has left Mayfield in a role he hasn’t been in since his rookie season in the league. Ahead of the game against Atlanta, Mayfield talked about getting acclimated to being the backup quarterback.
“You want to be able to showcase on Sundays what you’re capable of, but that’s not my role,” Mayfield told reporters. “So, right now, it’s supporting this group and competing within the quarterback competitions we have each day in practice. And then try to get the defense prepared for Sundays.
“It takes everybody. That’s why this is the ultimate team sport. It’s a different role for me, for sure, but I’m just finding my way through it.”