Baker Mayfield could have celebrated the Carolina Panthers' "Thursday Night Football" win in so many ways, even if he didn't play a snap.
He could have high-fived some teammates, there's always the fist bump, and he's never been afraid to fire off a spicy tweet or two. He had options, and instead he opted for the route of headbutting helmeted teammates while not wearing a helmet.
— NFL On Prime Video (@NFLonPrime) November 11, 2022
Prime Video broadcaster Al Michaels might have summed it up best:
"That's a good way to wind up in the concussion protocol even though you don't get in the game."
That's one way to interpret the Panthers' "Keep Pounding" motto. And just another night for a benched quarterback who has never been afraid of grabbing a little attention.
Mayfield opened the season as Carolina's starting quarterback before sustaining a sprained ankle in Week 5, opening the door for P.J. Walker, the team's third-stringer behind Mayfield and the also injured Sam Darnold, to take over under center.
The results weren't much better than when Mayfield was starting, and things got bad enough last week that Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks benched Walker in favor of Mayfield. You might have thought that meant Mayfield was the starter going forward, but then Wilks announced Walker would start Thursday.
The result was a win, but also a pretty quiet night for Walker. He finished 10-of-16 for 108 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, plus 14 rushing yards on three carries. The bigger star for the Panthers was running back D'Onta Foreman, who gashed the Atlanta Falcons again for 130 rushing yards and a touchdown.