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The Panthers activated QB Sam Darnold (ankle) from IR. He's been practicing for a couple of weeks but is now evidently ready for game action. We'll see who Carolina goes with at QB vs. the Falcons this weekend. QB P.J. Walker was benched at halftime of the loss to the Bengals. QB Baker Mayfield played his best football of the season over the 2nd half, completing 14 of 20 passes for 155 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs.

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The Vikings and QB Sam Darnold agreed to a one-year deal worth "up to" $10 million, NFL Network reports. That's more than "backup money" but doesn't necessarily guarantee Darnold the 2024 starting job. Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall are the other QBs currently on the roster, but Minnesota could certainly add a rookie in April's draft. It's been a popular landing spot for Michigan's J.J. McCarthy in mock drafts. Darnold attempted 46 passes for the 49ers last year, with 26 of them coming in a meaningless regular-season finale. He started 17 games for the Panthers across the 2021 and 2022 seasons, completing 59.5% of his passes at 6.7 yards per attempt -- right around his career averages. Darnold would be a significant downgrade from QB Kirk Cousins for Minnesota's pass catchers.

49ers QB Sam Darnold will start Sunday's regular-season finale vs. the Rams, HC Kyle Shanahan announced Wednesday. QB Brock Purdy will join RB Christian McCaffrey on the sidelines for that one after San Francisco locked up the NFC's No. 1 seed. WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and TE George Kittle are unlikely to play much, if at all, against the Rams.

The 49ers have named Sam Darnold their No. 2 QB, NFL Network reports. That leaves QB Trey Lance as the No. 3 -- and his future with the team in limbo. We'll see if Lance is still on the 49ers' roster come Week 1, but he's obviously not worth a roster spot in any redraft leagues.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the 49ers have reached a one-year deal with QB Sam Darnold. The quick signing tells us that San Francisco isn't sure QB Brock Purdy will be ready for the regular season. If the 49ers did expect Purdy's repaired right arm to be all good, then there would seem little reason for them to prioritize a third QB on the open market and little reason for Darnold to sign so quickly. Why settle for a locked-in No. 3 role on the first day of "legal tampering" rather than wait to see what other QB-needier teams might say. Of course, we're betting Trey Lance will open the year as the starter. The fact that Lance remains unproven heading into his third year -- and is coming off his own serious injury -- enhances the upside for Darnold. In addition to Purdy, HC Kyle Shanahan's offense has helped QBs Jimmy Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens generate good efficiency. Darnold would be interesting for fantasy if pressed into duty. That makes him stashable in deeper dynasty leagues.

Panthers QB Sam Darnold threw for 341 yards and 3 TDs in Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers. He hit WR D.J. Moore, WR Shi Smith and TE Tommy Tremble for TDs. The game included a season-high 37 passing attempts for Darnold, who hadn't exceeded 24 attempts in his previous 4 starts this season. He and the Panthers close out against the Saints in Week 18.

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