3 injured Carolina Panthers set for monumental bounce-back seasons in 2024

The road to redemption is on...
Shaq Thompson
Shaq Thompson / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

Jaycee Horn - Carolina Panthers CB

If the Carolina Panthers want to impose themselves defensively despite losing several key figures, they need Jaycee Horn to be fit and firing on all cylinders. The cornerback has the talent necessary to become one of the league's most accomplished coverage presences on the outside. Unfortunately, it's been a constant stream of disappointing injury complications since he was drafted No. 8 overall in 2021.

Horn's played just 22 games in three seasons. A serious hamstring tear last time around restricted the former South Carolina star to six contests. This isn't going to cut it if the player wants to enter the truly elite category in 2024.

When he's on the field, Horn is an integral part of Carolina's defensive strategy. His athleticism, awareness, and fluid movements enable him to lock down one side of the field with relative comfort. Something that allows others a sense of freedom to go about their responsibilities without fear of being exposed.

It's been an offseason of great change across the Panthers' defense. Established stars have departed. Ejiro Evero's gone to guys he trusts fully - ones that the respected coach has worked with previously. This might pay off, but it does nothing to diminish the important role Horn must play in 2024.

The Panthers need to decide on whether to pick up Horn's fifth-year option or not in the coming weeks. This seems like a gamble worth taking, but putting together a prolonged run of games is critical in Year 4 of his professional career.