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Sam Darnold's future with the Panthers | How did we get here?

Cam Newton is back with the Panthers, but where does that leave starting quarterback Sam Darnold?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton is returning to the franchise that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011, but it leaves starting quarterback Sam Darnold in a gray area.

The team signed Newton to a one-year contract after Darnold suffered an incomplete fracture of his shoulder blade in last week's 24-6 loss to the New England Patriots.

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Darnold will miss at least four weeks with a right shoulder injury, according to coach Matt Rhule. Rhule said P.J. Walker will start on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. 

Matt Barkley, signed off the Tennessee Titans practice squad, is slated to be his backup. 

Prior to Sunday's game against the Patriots, Darnold was in the NFL’s concussion protocol after he suffered a head and shoulder during the Panther's victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Oct. 31.

He was cleared to play in the game against the Patriots Sunday before he suffered the incomplete shoulder blade fracture.

Newton passed his physical exam and his playing status for this week will depend on how quickly he picks up the team's offense. He's expected to compete for a starting job beginning next week.

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