Sam Darnold addresses facing Jets in Week 1 as Panthers QB

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For the first time since the NFL schedule release, quarterback Sam Darnold addressed the game circled on fans' calendars. He and the Carolina Panthers will face the New York Jets, the team that traded him in the offseason, for the Week 1 game. 

Darnold spoke to the media for the first time since the schedule release and was asked what it will be like. The quarterback said he sees it as any other game, via the SI site on the Carolina Panthers.

"I think it's a really good opportunity — a good opportunity for this team to go out and prove ourselves against a good opponent," he said. "For me as a competitor, I'm going to go out there and compete no matter who the opponent is, so that's kind of my mindset on it."

The game will be played at the Panthers' Bank of America Stadium in the early CBS TV window. 

Darnold, 23, was heralded as the quarterback of the future when the Jets took him at No. 3 overall in the 2018 NFL draft. He made his NFL debut as a rookie in Week 1 that season. The Jets traded him in April to the Panthers for a pack of picks consisting of a 2021 sixth-rounder and 2022 second- and fourth-round selections. 

New York filled its starting quarterback spot in the draft by taking Zach Wilson out of BYU at No. 2. 

"My first reaction is just typical NFL, right?" Wilson said about the matchup during a news conference. 

Wilson had high praise for Darnold and said he wasn't pumped because of the opposing quarterback but that it's a challenge for his Jets squad to face the Panthers.  

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