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Panthers QB Cam Newton to start vs. Bucs; Sam Darnold also will play

The Carolina Panthers plan to use multiple quarterbacks in Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Coach Matt Rhule told reporters Wednesday that Cam Newton will get the start and quarterback the majority of the game but added that Sam Darnold would play at some point.

Darnold opened the year as the starter but has been out since Week 9 after landing on IR due to a shoulder injury. The former first-round pick has been cleared for contact this week.

"Sam will play (Sunday)," Rhule reiterated.

Newton was signed after Darnold suffered the injury. He started the past four games, all Panthers losses.

Before the Week 15 game -- a loss to the Bills -- in which Newton played all of the snaps, the dual-threat quarterback had shared reps with backup P.J. Walker, particularly in two-minute drill situations. Carolina's only win in the past six games came with Walker starting in Week 10.

Rhule entering the week planning to get Darnold snaps is the latest curveball the head coach has thrown at the QB position. In Rhule's two seasons in Carolina, he has yet to establish consistency under center.

The struggles of the 5-9 Panthers, particularly at the quarterback spot, have led to questions about Rhule's job security as we hit the final three weeks of the 2021 season. But the coach said Wednesday he has had no conversations with owner David Tepper about his future with the Panthers.

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