5 most important Carolina Panthers players vs. the Saints in Week 2

The Panthers are back at home for a Monday night showdown.

Derrick Brown
Derrick Brown / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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C.J. Henderson - Carolina Panthers CB

C.J. Henderson was a highly sought-after player in the 2020 NFL Draft. But unfortunately, things haven't gone as planned for him.

After being traded to the Carolina Panthers, he hasn't entirely lived up to the front office's expectations. As a result, they have decided not to exercise his fifth-year option, which means he will become a free agent at the end of this season.

When Jaycee Horn suffered an injury, Henderson came in as a replacement and immediately made his presence known on the field. The Atlanta Falcons began to challenge his coverage, leading to a noticeable shift in their offensive strategy as they attempted to advance the ball further downfield.

Ultimately, the most significant play that exposed Henderson's vulnerability came at the expense of the Florida product when the Falcons executed a deep pass to Kyle Pitts, resulting in a 34-yard catch that positioned them for a potential score.

Approaching Week 2, it's crucial to ensure that Henderson is fully prepared for his upcoming challenge. He'll have a tough job ahead of him whether he's facing Chris Olave or Michael Thomas.

However, if he can contain those big plays, he may be able to shift the momentum until Horn is healthy again, assuming he doesn't require surgery.