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Panthers acquire former first-round CB CJ Henderson in trade with Jaguars

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The Carolina Panthers didn't wait long to fill a void at cornerback for their top-ranked defense.

Four days after Jaycee Horn suffered a broken foot in a win over the Houston Texans, the Panthers announced on Monday they had acquired cornerback CJ Henderson in a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars received tight end Dan Arnold and a third-round pick in the deal while the Panthers also netted a fifth-round selection.

Henderson, 22, was the No. 9 overall pick by the Jaguars in 2020 but faced a rocky transition this offseason under new coach Urban Meyer. He missed the early portion of training camp while on the COVID-19 reserve list and missed a scrimmage due to personal reasons.

In August, Meyer dismissed speculation that Henderson could walk away from football.

“We have to improve a lot of areas of our teams, and just seemed like it might be a good, fresh start for CJ,” Meyer said Monday. “I love CJ. Spent a lot of time with him and his parents. I think it’s going to be good for both of us.”

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Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback C.J. Henderson (23) during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback C.J. Henderson (23) during an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla.

Henderson started the Jaguars' first two games of the season but was inactive Sunday in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a groin injury.

“I wouldn’t say we’re too shaken up,” Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins said Monday. “I feel like we have everybody we need, so I wouldn’t say we’re shaken up. CJ was a good player. I know he’s going to go there and make an immediate impact. Wish him the best.”

In Carolina, Henderson should aid a defense that has given up a league-low 146 yards and 10 points per game. The Panthers have not put a timeline on Horn's return, but the No. 8 overall pick in April's NFL draft likely will miss a significant stretch of time.

The Panthers also reached out to free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman, according to multiple reports.

Sending Arnold to Jacksonville should create more opportunities in Carolina for Tommy Tremble, the third-round pick out of Notre Dame. Arnold, meanwhile, should take over as the primary receiving option at tight end for the Jaguars after James O'Shaughnessy was placed on injured reserve last week.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: CJ Henderson trade: Panthers closing in on deal for Jaguars CB