One game after playing a season-high 32 defensive snaps, second-year Carolina Panthers safety Tre Boston was in for just five defensive plays against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera owned it as a mistake on Monday after weeks of promising to get the former fourth-round draft pick more involved.
“That’s on us,” Rivera said of the coaching staff. “We’ve got to pay a little more attention. We get into the flow of things as coaches and you don’t (pay attention.)”
Boston played in place of Roman Harper on just a handful of plays despite Harper struggling at times in coverage, especially against Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham.
Rivera chalked up some of those plays to poor linebacking play, like one second-quarter pass from Russell Wilson to Graham that went for 25 yards down the seam when there was a miscommunication between Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson.
But Harper was beaten on a 45-yard pass from Wilson to Graham when the quarterback scrambled right and out of the pocket. Harper was caught looking into the backfield at Wilson as Graham made a move up the sideline and Wilson lofted it for the tight end.
Boston has had his own troubles in coverage dating back to his rookie season, including giving up two touchdowns in two games against the Seahawks.
But Rivera made it clear he wants to integrate Boston in more.
“Those are the things that we’ve got to remember, hey we’ve got to get the kid in, keep working the young man and get a good rotation,” Rivera said. “Because the truth of the matter is we’ve got to save Roman and make sure Roman’s ready to go down the stretch, because it’s a long way. We’ve still got 11 games left to go.”
Boston did play on 15 special teams plays and had two tackles on punt returns.