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Inside The Bills

Cornerback injuries cost Carolina

Posted by Chris Brown on September 15, 2013 – 10:58 pm

The Carolina Panthers were already down one cornerback in James Dockery, who was out with a thumb injury. They also had a young cornerback on the inactive list in Melvin White. In hindsight they would’ve preferred to have all the healthy corners up for Sunday’s game.

Carolina CB Josh Thomas went out in the first half with a concussion. CB Josh Norman missed time with a thigh injury and S Charles Godfrey was carted off with an ankle injury. All told the Panthers were down to just three healthy corners and it had an impact on the final offensive play of the game for Buffalo.

With six seconds left on a 2nd-and-1 at the two-yard line, Norman, who returned to the game had Chris Hogan in man to man coverage lined up outside. Reserve CB D.J. Moore had Stevie Johnson inside in the slot man to man. Moore isn’t typically the team’s slot corner, Captain Munnerlyn typically slides inside when defending three wide sets.

Hogan ran a slant inside while Johnson slid behind him on a corner route.

It looked as though Norman thought they were staying with their coverage assignment through the entire play, while Moore thought they would switch coverage assignments if they crossed their face. Moore stopped covering Johnson to switch to Hogan and bumped into Norman, who stayed with Hogan. Johnson was wide open for the game-tying TD.

“We got rubbed off, is basically what happened,” said Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. “We’re in man coverage right there. We’ve got to work through the pick, make sure we’re communicating and get through, and not get picked off. It was a tough situation, and unfortunately, it worked to their benefit.”


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