CHARLOTTE – There's never a good time for injuries, but the very definition of bad timing could be injuries in the secondary leading up to a game against Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Cornerback Daryl Worley missed practice Wednesday after injuring his shoulder in the second quarter of the Panthers' loss to the Saints. If Worley isn't able to play Sunday at New England, a second-year player the Panthers traded for three weeks and three days ago is in position to get the call.
Kevon Seymour versus the Patriots?
Maybe there's no better time than the present.
"The coaches and the players, we're not going to blink," safety Mike Adams said. "We brought him in here for a reason, and we expect him to go out there and get the job done if need be. I don't see a problem with that."
Seymour feels the same way. On roster cutdown day around the league, the cornerback made the Bills' roster but was preparing for a change of address hours later when he was traded to the Panthers for wide receiver Kaelin Clay.
Seymour has been active for all three games but not very active on defense. He played one defensive snap in the opener when Worley was slowed by cramps but has otherwise been limited to special teams work.
"When the time comes, I'm going to be ready," Seymour said. "I'm fast with good technique, and I'm versatile – can play inside or out. I also can be physical, can come up to tackle."
Seymour thinks he'll be ready in part because before the trade, the Bills implemented new head coach Sean McDermott's defensive schemes – former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's schemes.
That gives him a fighting chance if he's thrown into the fray this early, but he's also quick to credit Adams and fellow safety Kurt Coleman for helping him get up to speed. With Worley not on the practice field Wednesday, Adams helped him work on one aspect of the game that can't be fast-tracked.
"Communication," Adams said. "There's only so much you can do playing defense, but the main thing is communication.
"It's about getting on the same page, getting acclimated to him being out there. We had him out there today, and we're working on that."
Seymour also believes the presence of Worley and fellow corner James Bradberry are helping his learning curve. They, like him, are second-year players. Bradberry went in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft and Worley in the third round, while the Bills took Seymour in the sixth round.
"He's an athletic guy – fast – and a smart, very intelligent guy. He knows about defense because he ran similar things with the Bills," Bradberry said. "He looked good in practice today. I'm expecting him to get better with reps. I'm helping him out where I can, just telling him what he can expect."
In some ways, perhaps Seymour can tell the Panthers' starters what to expect. While Bradberry and Worley did face Brady for about a quarter in a preseason game as rookie, Seymour faced Brady in a regular season matchup last season – a 41-25 victory for the Patriots over the Bills.
"Playing Brady, we knew we really had to be dialed in," Seymour said. "Great quarterback, great receivers, just a great team overall.
"It's going to be a big challenge for us, but it's not anything we're not ready for."
View photos from the Panthers' week of practice leading up to their game against the Patriots.