Charlotte, North Carolina – Former XFL star PJ Walker will start as a quarterback for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
Walker will replace Teddy Bridgewater, who was included in the inactive list after going through two rigorous pre-game sessions to test his right knee, which was sprained a week ago in a loss to Tampa Bay.
This will be Walker’s first NFL start. He played twice when Bridgewater left with injuries, making 3 of 8 attempts to pass for 15 yards.
He will be backed by Will Greer, a third-round pick in 2019 who was 0-2 as a starter last year when Cam Newton was injured.
Walker was signed in the off-season after leading the Houston Roughnecks to a 5-0 record with 1
The decision to mount Bridgewater had so much to do with the protection of his left knee, which was severely damaged in 2016 when he was a starter in Minnesota, as well as his right knee. He was worried that he might put too much stress on his left knee if he was put in a position to protect himself.
Bridgewater is expected to return next week when the Panthers (3-7) face the Vikings.
The fact that the Panthers have two starters on the offensive line – the left fight with Russell Okung and the right guard John Miller – was also a factor in Bridgewater’s seating. For the past few days, Rule has made it clear that Bridgewater must be able to protect himself if he is under duress.
Rule, owner David Tepper, general manager Marty Hearney and offensive coordinator Joe Brady were among those who watched Bridgewater go out twice for training before the game.