The Carolina Panthers feared the worst when defensive end Charles Johnson went down with a groin injury in the closing minute of Thursday night's win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but it appears that he could be back on the field soon after an MRI came back negative, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Johnson had to be carted off the field Thursday well after the game had been decided. The Buccaneers were driving for a garbage-time score after recovering an onside kick.
The injury, which thankfully wasn't a tear, shouldn't keep Johnson out for long. After playing on Thursday night, he'll have a long time to rest before the Panthers' matchup against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9. There is no guarantee Johnson will return that soon, but the likelihood is better after Friday's news.
Johnson has been an excellent pass rusher for the Panthers this season, with six sacks through seven games played. Two of those sacks came against rookie quarterback Mike Glennon on Thursday. Johnson also has a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this season.