CHARLOTTE — If Baker Mayfield head-butts anyone this weekend, he'll probably have a helmet on.
Mayfield started the first five games this season, and they did not go particularly well. He had four touchdowns, four interceptions, and a 71.9 passer rating in those five starts before he was injured against the 49ers. He played better in the second half against the Bengals two weeks ago in relief of Walker, throwing for 155 and two touchdowns in the second half. But even he admitted that was against some passive Bengals coverage (since they were up 35-0 at halftime when Walker was pulled after two interceptions).
But he's also been supportive of Walker when he was serving as the backup, and said repeatedly he wanted to be a part of wins. That's why his viral helmet-less celebration Thursday night (when he exchanged head-butts with linemen coming off the field) appeared to be in character.
Mayfield has experience against the Ravens, starting eight games against them in the previous four years with the Browns. He was 3-5 in those starts, but his 83.2 rating in those games was solid (13 touchdowns, nine interceptions).
Mayfield won the preseason competition with Darnold for the starting job, and then Darnold suffered a high ankle sprain of his own in the preseason. He was activated to the 53-man roster last week but was inactive for the Falcons game.
View the best in-game photos from Carolina's Week 10 game against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday Night Football.