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November 25, 2013

Panthers smart to be cautious with Johnson

While the Panthers were in the midst of a come-from-behind win at Miami on Sunday, defensive end Charles Johnson was home in Charlotte, tweeting encouragement and observations in 140 characters or fewer.

Whether Johnson, who is recovering from a sprained MCL, is an observer or participant against Tampa Bay will be of the most-watched storylines this week.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera didn't have any updates on Johnson's condition Monday, saying he would have a better idea Wednesday. But based on Rivera's comments, it's clear the Panthers plan to err on the side of caution so Johnson is back and healthy for the stretch run.

"Again, we’re going to be smart," Rivera said. "It really is about going forward, because we have an opportunity to go forward."

The Panthers had a couple of contain issues Sunday without Johnson, who leads the team with 8.5 sacks. Although Rivera said quarterbacks have escaped the pocket when Johnson's been in the game, as well.

They'd be better served having a healthy Johnson for one or both of the Saints' games rather than rushing him back against Tampa Bay and having him risk re-injury.

In other injury news, Rivera said:

--Fullback Mike Tolbert is dealing with a leg issue that may have been caused by dehydration at the end of the game at Miami, where game-time temperatures were in the low-80s;

--Linebacker Thomas Davis dislocated his finger, causing the bone to break through the skin and requiring stitches during and after the game;

--Defensive end Greg Hardy also has a "finger issue." Hardy tweeted that he played 2 1/2 quarters against the Dolphins with his right thumb "torn open," and included a picture of his bandaged thumb;

--Didn't know anything about free safety Mike Mitchell's injury. Mitchell told reporters after the game he had a lower-body injury that would require an MRI exam.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on November 25, 2013 at 02:28 PM | Permalink


Let's hope Davis gets a deserved trip to the Pro Bowl. He can rush, cover, and hits the hardest and that's saying a lot with this years D.

Posted by: GoPanthers | Nov 25, 2013 4:32:00 PM

they need to sit johnson this week regardless of whether he is healthy or not. we won't win or lose because of him being out. we need him down the stretch more.

every win the rest of the way matters the same in regards to playoffs or no playoffs but the saints games are just as good as a playoff game. we win those 2.....we are in position for a first round bye or at least a 1st round home game.

thus......rest the man this week. get him 100% for the 8th.

Posted by: charlottean | Nov 26, 2013 1:04:46 PM

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