4 Carolina Panthers that must get more playing time under Steve Wilks

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Brandon Smith
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Brandon Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Keith Taylor Jr. – Carolina Panthers CB

Once considered one of the team’s strengths during the offseason, there are now some real problems emerging within the Carolina Panthers’ secondary. Injuries to the likes of Jeremy Chinn are proving bitter pills to swallow, but the cornerbacks haven’t reached their lofty expectations outside of Jaycee Horn’s exceptional return from injury.

One player that’s been conspicuous by his absence in 2022 is Keith Taylor Jr. The second-year pro was seldom seen under Matt Rhule through five weeks despite showing encouraging signs as a rookie, which was another bizarre personnel move that came back to haunt the recently fired head coach.

Taylor got more reps in Week 6 at the Los Angeles Rams. Not exactly the easiest proposition after so long out of favor, which resulted in the former Washington standout giving up a couple of big catches to Allen Robinson throughout the contest.

Criticizing Taylor too heavily for his efforts on Sunday would be foolish without the right context. With Donte Jackson and C.J Henderson suffering health and consistency issues, there should be further opportunities for the 2021 fifth-round pick to shine under interim head coach Steve Wilks.

Just how Wilks perceives Taylor from a talent standpoint is anyone’s guess. But he wasted little time in throwing him into the fire once the shackles of Rhule had been removed.