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James Bradberry playing prominent role


CHARLOTTE – In two of cornerback James Bradberry's first three games, he's been tasked with shadowing a certain receiver.

In Week 1, it was Denver's three-time Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas. On Sunday, it was Minnesota's Stefon Diggs, the NFL's leading receiver through two games.

"When we played Denver I matched up against Demaryius Thomas. This past game I matched up with Diggs," Bradberry said. "Whatever the coaching staff asks me to do, I am willing to do it. I just do whatever they tell me."

The rookie was effective against Diggs, limiting him to four receptions on seven targets for 40 yards. In the Vikings' previous games, Diggs totaled 103 and 182 yards.

After Minnesota prevailed with 22-10 over Carolina, Diggs and Bradberry met for a brief conversation at midfield.

"At the end of game it was all words of encouragement," Bradberry said. "He was telling me he was in the same position I was when he was a rookie – still trying to figure things out – and he was just encouraging me to stay on track and continue to learn.

"As far as the game, I feel like I made some plays and of course he made some plays. It was a pretty even matchup."

The Falcons are next on the schedule, and that means the Panthers need to have an answer for star wideout Julio Jones.

Bradberry isn't sure yet if he'll shadow Jones, but he'd jump at the opportunity.

"Hopefully. I'm looking forward to that matchup," Bradberry said. "I always look forward to competing with the best talent.

"It will be a good measuring stick for me."

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