During the Carolina Panthers Thursday night win over the Atlanta Falcons, starting cornerback Donte Jackson suffered an injury.

Jackson, who has been with the Panthers since being drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL draft, suffered a torn Achilles in the contest.

On Friday, the Panthers announced that Jackson would be lost for the season after having an MRI.

Via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport:

In nine games this season, Jackson played a large role in the Panthers secondary. He recorded 35 total tackles, one tackle for loss, three defended passes, two interceptions, and one touchdown.

Jackson has spent the last five seasons playing a crucial part in this young defense. Over 64 career games, he has recorded 244 total tackles, 1o tackles for loss, 41 defended passes and 14 interceptions.

Jackson now joins safety Jeremy Chinn as two key starters who are missing time.

Following the loss of Jackson, the Panthers secondary will be forced to turn to younger players at the position. 2020 first-round pick CJ Henderson will now be elevated to a starting role alongside 2021 first-round pick Jaycee Horn. With two first-round selections used on the cornerback position in recent history, the Panthers will hope that these two can become franchise pieces.

Horn and Henderson have both shown flashes this season. The pair have combined for 62 total tackles, eight defended passes, and three interceptions so far this year. If all goes to plan, they could serve as the starters for the foreseeable future.

The Panthers, who are currently 3-7, will now have the opportunity to see exactly what they have in their young secondary.