4 critical observations from Carolina Panthers' loss at the Falcons in Week 1

It was an afternoon to forget for the Carolina Panthers in Atlanta.
Adam Thielen
Adam Thielen / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers cannot depend on Jaycee Horn

As the weeks tick by, the Carolina Panthers’ decision to select Jaycee Horn with the No. 8 overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft becomes more problematic. There was a collective sigh of disappointment amongst fans when the gifted cornerback suffered another non-contact injury, this time suffering a hamstring complication late in the first half.

Horn’s injury issues have been well publicized. He tried to quell those in an interview with The Athletic's Joe Person ahead of camp, but another early season problem has fans rightly frustrated. Of course, it is not the player's fault, even if the trend is certainly a worrying one.

The Panthers cornerback room now looks bare, to say the least. Outside of converted nickel back Jeremy Chinn, Carolina has an injury-prone Donte Jackson, C.J. Henderson (who I’m frankly sick of seeing in a Panthers jersey and is a waste of a roster spot), veteran Troy Hill, and undrafted free agent D’Shawn Jamison, who was strangely inactive.

One hopes the Horn injury is not a serious one. If he misses considerable time, that puts strain on an already underwhelming unit.

The Panthers were lucky on Sunday to be facing Desmond Ridder. However, in the weeks to come with Carolina facing better talent, its No. 1 coverage presence must be healthy, but it seems once again that won’t be the case.