METAIRIE, LA. – Carolina’s Sam Darnold will start on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. He will replace Cam Newton, who was 0-5 as the starter after replacing Darnold, who went on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Darnold split time with Newton in Sunday’s 32-6 loss to Tampa Bay. He completed 15 of 32 pass attempts for 190 yards.

“With both of them, they do two different things. Cam likes to run a little bit more, they do a lot of pulling with Cam and all those. Sam, he’ll throw the ball a lot more. We’re working on both of them. We don’t know what’s going to happen. So we’re just trying to get both of them down pat,” said Saints linebacker Kwon Alexander.

“You’re kind of preparing for both and understanding what they like to do with both. The two things are both those quarterbacks are playing, they have uniquely different skillsets and they both can be challenging,” said Saints head coach Sean Payton. It will be important for the Saints defense to shut out Darnold who is a young quarterback early.

The Saints had 25 players and coaches on the COVID-reserve list just a few days ago. Since then, 11 players have been lifted including Malcolm Jenkins Demario, Davis and Kwon Alexander on defense. On offense, quarterbacks Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian.

“They’re kind of coming back on like they went off, sporadically and so it was easier to start with where we think we are going to be by the end of the week with the game and work backwards. Cell phone pings now, we get two or three guys coming off (Reserve/COVID-19 list). Last week, the cell phone pinged and they were going on,” said Saints head coach Sean Payton.

The NFL is following new COVID protocols. The CDC suggests those who test positive isolate for 5 days as opposed to 10 days.