The Panthers designated quarterback Sam Darnold for return from injured reserve on Wednesday, but any return to the active roster isn’t coming in the near future.
Head coach Matt Rhule told reporters that “it’s good for Sam to start to get out there and practice with his teammates and do some drills,” but the drills he’s able to do are limited because his injured shoulder is not yet ready for contact.
“He’s cleared, but he’s not cleared to play,” Rhule said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “I’m not sure when that will be. He’s good enough to throw and move around, but he can’t take contact yet. So that will come down to a CT scan, probably in the coming weeks. So he’s still got a little ways.”
With four weeks left, Darnold may not be able to give the Panthers a final in-game look before the season is over. Even if he does, the earlier looks at him in the Panthers offense already made it clear that the quarterback position is going to be an offseason priority in Carolina.