If I had to come up with three reasons that the Carolina Panthers could upset the Los Angeles Rams this Sunday, cornerback Jaycee Horn containing Matthew Stafford’s top weapon would be right at the top. Befitting a team that may be more interested in the number one pick in the NFL Draft instead of a winning streak, the Panthers held Jaycee Horn out of practice on Thursday with a ribs injury.
For a team that is probable to start their fourth-string quarterback the week after firing their head coach, the Panthers are doing everything in their power to weaken their argument of a win on Sunday.
No sign of Panthers CB Jaycee Horn (ribs) at practice.— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) October 13, 2022
Horn, the eighth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of South Carolina, has become a lockdown cornerback early in his career. Though he missed all but three games of his rookie season, Horn has been lights out in all eight career games he’s played in, including five this season. He has allowed a passer rating under 40 over his career thus far. QBs are 9-of-22 with one interception when throwing at Horn in 2022.
If Jaycee Horn is not starting, it means that Cooper Kupp is more likely than not going to be Cooper Kupp for another week.
Baker Mayfield, dealing with a high ankle sprain, is not expected to start at quarterback. The Panthers have refused to outright rule him out as of Thursday, but everyone knows that P.J. Walker will be the starter this week. His backup is going to be Jacob Eason, a player who has been on numerous practice squads over the last three years. Eason was once the number one QB recruit in the nation, but has been underwhelming since then.
No Baker Mayfleld as expected. Look for PJ Walker to get first team reps again and Jacob Eason to get enough of the package to play if Walker gets hurt on Sunday against the Rams. https://t.co/iBxsnvhlFg— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) October 13, 2022
Carolina already has quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Matt Corral on injured lists, so this is their fourth and fifth options. With Matt Rhule looking for work again, the Panthers firing their defensive coordinator, and more injuries down the line, the Rams have no excuse but to win their Week 6 game by a lot.
Panthers cornerback Jaycee Horn arrives with Donte Jackson. No helmet for Horn (ribs).— David Newton (@DNewtonespn) October 13, 2022
And to cover that 10-point spread.