With what feels like an injured reserve that’s large enough to be considered a cavalry at this point, the Carolina Panthers are searching for burn to spread around. Plus, in a matchup that painfully pushed itself into some extended time, there was plenty more of that playing time to be allocated.
Here’s how the Panthers dealt with that, and the implications of their moves, in the Week 6 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Sean Chandler deserves a day off
AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman
The Panthers have been dealing with numerous injuries to their secondary. They’re currently without the likes of Jaycee Horn, Stephon Gilmore, Myles Hartsfield and Juston Burris.
That means there’s some slack still to be picked up. Plus, with the defense having to play 89 snaps in an overtime battle, there’s even more slack out there to be had.
Well, Chandler just about had it all. The fourth-year safety played 100 percent of those plays on defense as well as 13 more looks on special teams. That amounts to a ridiculous 104 total snaps in one afternoon.
So our hats go off to Sean, whose been a reliable presence all over the formation—having played at free safety, in the box and from the slot—here in 2021.
Keith Taylor Jr. emerging as a valuable resource
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Taylor Jr. has also cracked the field as a clutch contributor in Carolina’s time of need. He played in a career-high 65 defensive snaps (73 percent) and a chunky 24 snaps on special teams (69 percent).
He fared well while doing so, too. The rookie amassed a team-high 10 tackles with a trio of pass deflections against Minnesota. He also held wideouts Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to a combined five catches on six targets for 34 yards.
His 56 snaps from the perimeter, additionally, were second only to starter Donte Jackson. While he won’t find a permanent home on the outside, at least not this year with Gilmore on the way, the 2021 fifth-rounder is proving to be a premium depth piece at the moment.
Mixing it up with Michael Jordan
AP Photo/Nell Redmond
Head coach Matt Rhule has said, time and time again, that the offensive line is a work in progress. That work continued on Sunday.
Third-year lineman Michael Jordan took over for starter Dennis Daley at left guard in the first quarter and never looked back. He recorded 66 offensive snaps (89 percent), 58 more than Daley.
Although he would later be charged with three sacks throughout the afternoon, Jordan’s extended relief appearance shows Carolina is looking into what they have down along the position group. All hands on deck.