Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/18/14
Tony Carter, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback, was engulfed by the media in the Broncos' locker room this week. He seemed a little shocked, but he handled the attention usually reserved for a star player as best he could. How he plays against quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots' passing attack in the AFC championship game Sunday is a bigger, more important matter. After spending much of the season on the bench because of a series of early season mistakes, Carter has been thrust into the spotlight because starting cornerback Chris Harris went down with a knee injury in Denver's divisional playoff victory over San Diego last Sunday. Carter said he's ready. "My confidence is always high, no matter if I'm playing or not playing," he said. "We'll be ready. It's a big game, so there's no time for thinking about what did and didn't happen." Head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio aren't about to reveal how they will replace Harris, arguably Denver's best cover corner this season. The Broncos will likely try several looks, but Carter could be in the spotlight. "We need everybody that's going to be up, corners, safeties that are involved and that get a uniform," Del Rio said. "We need him to help us win, help us play well. I wouldn't isolate on any one guy. I think we've got a number of guys that will be up and used in different combinations and the guys that play need to play well." When the Broncos line up in their base defense, Brady will likely see veteran Champ Bailey lining up opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But when the Broncos find themselves in the nickel package, with five defensive backs, Bailey will likely be asked to shift inside to cover the slot receiver and Carter will line up as the other outside corner. Carter's promotion would come at the expense of Quentin Jammer, who struggled against San Diego after Harris was injured. Jammer was beaten twice on the opening drive of the fourth quarter, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to Kennan Allen that cut Denver's lead to 24-14. But Carter has had his share of high-profile miscues. He was essentially benched after Denver's 51-48 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 6 when Tony Romo torched the Broncos for 506 yards passing. When the Broncos lost 34-31 in overtime to the Patriots on Nov. 24, wide receiver Wes Welker tried to wave his teammates off a Patriots punt. Welker's call came late and the punt bounced off Carter, allowing the Patriots to recover the ball and kick the game-winning field goal. And not to be forgotten is Carter's role in last year's playoff loss to the Ravens. Everyone remembers the sight of the flailing Rahim Moore allowing Jacoby Jones get behind him for a miracle 70-yard touchdown pass that tied the Ravens-Broncos playoff game late in regulation. But it was Carter who was supposed to jam Jones near the line of scrimmage, then cover him down the sideline. Neither happened. Now Carter gets a shot at redemption — against Brady, one of the all-time greats.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Stephen Jones: Cowboys 'look forward' to starting Prescott

Stanton has 'slim chance' of returning for final week?

Kubiak hinting that Siemian is favorite for Broncos' QB job?

John Harbaugh: NFL needs to make changes to preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker