Ickey Ekwonu: I’ll do everything I can to keep any QB safe

Ickey Ekwonu: I’ll do everything I can to keep any QB safe

The Panthers say they will be holding an open competition for the quarterback job during training camp after trading for Baker Mayfield and rookie left tackle Ickey Ekwonu isn’t picking any favorites in Mayfield’s battle with Sam Darnold.

Ekwonu told Jane Slater of NFL Media that he believes “competition brings best out of everybody” when asked about last week’s change to the quarterback landscape in Carolina. He also vowed to do the same job regardless of who the coaching staff picks to be on the field against the Browns in Week 1 of the regular season.

“Whoever the coaching staff puts out there, you know, I feel like we’ll be ready to go,” Ekwonu said. “We’re all just excited to enter training camp. I feel like we all got full confidence in the coaching staff and whoever’s back there, I’ll be doing everything I can to keep him safe.”

The Panthers drafted Ekwonu because one of the many issues plaguing their offense was pass protection. That makes the rookie a valuable piece of the offense regardless of who winds up taking the snaps.