4 Carolina Panthers on the hot seat in Week 16 vs. the Lions

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Keith Taylor Jr.
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Keith Taylor Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Taylor Jr. /

Keith Taylor Jr. – Carolina Panthers CB

When cornerback C.J. Henderson was forced out of Week 15 early on through injury, it placed Keith Taylor Jr. into a starting role. Mike Tomlin was not going to waste such an opportunity, ignoring Jaycee Horn’s side of the field and specifically targeting anyone being guarded by the former fifth-round pick with great success.

Taylor was abused throughout the contest. Whether it was George Pickens or Diontae Johnson, neither had much bother getting what they wanted, which played a leading role in the Carolina Panthers stumbling in front of a substantial opportunity.

This was a bad performance, one Taylor described as the worst since he started playing football. However, it’s too soon to be giving up on his potential to become a solid rotational piece moving forward – even if being a prominent starter might be asking too much.

Everyone has bad days. It just so happens that Taylor became exposed at a cornerback position, where there is absolutely no hiding place on any down.

Putting this right at the earliest possible opportunity will be critical for Taylor. The Detroit Lions offense is humming right now, so every defensive back needs to be at the top of their game to limit big yardage against one of the league’s most impressive teams over the second half of 2022.

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