Panthers to Not Have DE Charles Johnson Sunday vs Tampa Bay

Carolina Panthers training camp

The Panthers will be without defensive end Charles Johnson for Sunday’s NFC South game at Tampa Bay with a severe hamstring injury, David Newton of ESPN.com reports.

Johnson, who is second on Carolina’s all-time sacks list, suffered the injury in the second half of Sunday’s 27-22 victory over New Orleans and did not return.

It is the same hamstring that kept Johnson out of most of training camp and hampered him at times last season.

But the Panthers (3-0) may get middle linebacker Luke Kuechly back after the two-time Pro Bowler missed the past two and a half games with a concussion.

Coach Ron Rivera said Kuechly is scheduled to meet with the independent physician on Tuesday. He said Kuechly had a good checkup with team doctors on Sunday and progressed another step in the concussion protocol.

“If it’s good news [Tuesday] then we can get him rolling on Wednesday,” Rivera said.

Rivera said Johnson will be re-evaluated after the bye week, which follows the Tampa Bay game. He was unaware if the hamstring was torn or tweaked.

“We’ll see how long it’ll be,” Rivera said. “But he most certainly will be out this week for sure. … Hopefully, [the bye] will give it time to calm down a lot and get some strength back and we’ll see how he is coming out of the bye.”


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