Johnson is recovering from a sprained MCL he suffered against the New England Patriots during the Panthers' controversial 24-20 win on Monday Night Football two weeks ago. On the season, Johnson has 8.5 sacks to lead the team after having 12.5 last year.
With Johnson in the fold, the Panthers have arguably the best defense in the NFL with stars such as Greg Hardy, Luke Kuechly and Star Lotulelei on the field. Carolina ranks second against the run and sixth against the pass, but most importantly first in scoring defense.
The Panthers are currently riding an eight-game winning streak and could take the outright lead in the NFC South with a win over the Saints this Sunday, who they are tied for atop the division with a 9-3 record.