5 Carolina Panthers players on the hot seat in Week 9 at Bengals
By Dean Jones
Donte Jackson – Carolina Panthers CB
Donte Jackson came up with a flashy interception in Week 8. But from a performance standpoint overall, concerns are growing.
The cornerback is sluggish in coverage, playing off his man on key third-downs that opposing offenses are now targeting frequently. Something Jackson has found difficult to deal with despite the presence of former No. 8 overall selection Jaycee Horn back healthy.
Just why the Carolina Panthers lined Jackson up against Kyle Pitts on Sunday is anyone’s guess. The tight end was having his way in critical situations, which made it even more surprising that Horn wasn’t shadowing him during such an important part of the game.
Jackson is also dealing with numerous injury problems that seem to be taking their toll. Nothing new for fans that have followed the player’s career, but reliability was a major talking point before the Panthers gave him a three-year extension this offseason.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Jackson was the subject of trade interest before the deadline. However, nobody met Carolina’s reported second-round valuation and the onus is now on the former LSU standout to start repaying the faith shown in him by the organization.
There’s no doubt Jackson is an influential figure within the locker room. However, giving up 77.3 percent of targets thrown his way is not going to cut it long-term and it’s something that won’t go unnoticed by Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd next weekend.