Panthers QB Sam Darnold (shoulder) active, expected to start vs. Patriots

Carolina's starting quarterback is back after a week of uncertainty.

Sam Darnold is active and expected to start at QB on Sunday afternoon as the Panthers host the New England Patriots.

Darnold was limited in practice all week with a concussion and shoulder injury. The fourth-year QB cleared concussion protocol Saturday, but was considered questionable to start against New England with the aforementioned shoulder issue.

P.J. Walker, who has filled in for Darnold in consecutive weeks, was slated to start in his first place, but now it looks like Carolina will go with their usual QB1. Darnold has not missed a start all year.

Darnold isn't the only Panthers offensive starter returning to action this week. Christian McCaffrey is active for Sunday's game after missing the last five weeks with a hamstring injury and being activated from injured reserve Saturday.

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