5 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat vs. the Buccaneers in Week 7

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) C.J. Henderson
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) C.J. Henderson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Henderson /

C.J. Henderson – Carolina Panthers CB

The decision to trade for C.J. Henderson is looking like another wayward gamble that hasn’t paid off. While those in power were banking on the former first-pick finally realizing his undoubted potential coming out of Florida, what’s transpired on the field is deeply concerning and something that leaves his NFL future hanging in the balance.

Henderson has all the athletic attributes needed to become a productive cornerback at the next level. But confidence and injury struggles coupled with poor form and a lack of discipline leave real doubt about his long-term hopes.

It was another difficult afternoon for Henderson at the Los Angeles Rams despite getting plenty of reps. Jaycee Horn’s absence thrust him into a prominent starting position, but he struggled to keep up with the likes of Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson during another morale-sapping loss.

The Carolina Panthers have little choice other than to keep putting Henderson out there given their lack of options. Donte Jackson is also dealing with health issues and if Horn cannot return against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it represents a real complication given how much talent Tom Brady has to utilize from the skill positions.

Henderson is giving up 81 percent of targets thrown in his direction. There are times when he looks capable in coverage, but it’s just not good enough consistently.

If improvements aren’t made, it’s another stain on Carolina’s personnel moves under Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer.