4 Panthers players who exceeded expectations at the Falcons

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Alex Armah
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Alex Armah /
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Carolina Panthers
(Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports) Troy Pride Jr. /

Troy Pride Jr. – Carolina Panthers CB

It hasn’t been the easiest of starts to life in the NFL for Troy Pride Jr., which is to be expected for rookie cornerbacks. The fourth-round pick has taken time to settle into the professional environment and this has come with its fair share of complications through the first quarter of the campaign.

The former Notre Dame speedster was thrust into a more prominent role once again when Donte Jackson suffered another injury. This is becoming a recurring problem for the No. 1 option and it remains to be seen whether the player will be ready to go when the Carolina Panthers host the Chicago Bears in Week 6.

Pride Jr. produced arguably his best performance in a Carolina uniform. His electric pace enabled him to get to the point of attack consistently and the first-year-pro also did his part in the passing game as Matt Ryan tried to air it down the field in order to get back into the contest.

He was on the field for 97 percent of the Panthers’ defensive snaps at the Falcons, resulting in six combined tackles and five solo tackles. More importantly, it gave Carolina’s coaching staff a big indication that Pride Jr. might just be a reliable asset to have in the coming weeks, especially if Jackson continues his luckless streak when it comes to injuries.