Panthers place Sam Darnold on IR, clearing roster spot for Eddy Piñeiro

With quarterback Sam Darnold sidelined with a high-ankle sprain, the Panthers have made a move to clear a roster spot for their new kicker.

Carolina announced on Thursday that Darnold has been placed on injured reserve. He’ll be eligible to return to the roster after four weeks.

As a corresponding move, the Panthers have officially signed kicker Eddy Piñeiro. He replaces Zane Gonzalez, who was recently placed on injured reserve with a groin injury.

Darnold suffered his ankle sprain in Carolina’s final preseason game. Head coach Matt Rhule said this week he expects Darnold to miss “at least” four weeks with the injury.

With Darnold out, P.J. Walker is expected to handle backup QB duties behind starter Baker Mayfield.

Word emerged that the Panthers were going to sign Piñeiro on Wednesday. He hit 8-of-8 field goals and 9-of-10 extra points for the Jets in 2021.