Carolina Panthers star defensive end Charles Johnson does an amazing job of putting consistent pressure on the quarterback, and he and Greg Hardy form one of the most fearsome pass rushing duos in the country. Johnson left last night’s blowout victory over the rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter with an undisclosed injury, as he slammed into Hardy and needed to be taken off the field. He was able to return, but he needed an MRI today to confirm that there is no structural damage.
The Associated Press’s Steve Reed reports that the MRI was negative and that Charles Johnson has a strained groin. While Johnson expects to play in next week’s rivalry game against the Atlanta Falcons, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera stated that the “key will be how” Johnson reacts to treatment on his injury.
At this point, I would be surprised if Johnson misses next week’s game, but it’s still early in the process. Johnson has been amazing so far this season, and he added two more sacks to his total of six despite yesterday’s injury. He has recorded 16 tackles, forced a fumble, and recovered a fumble as well. Expect another big day out of Johnson next week against the Falcons if he is able to play, because he will have a very favorable matchup.