SPARTANBURG, South Carolina — Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson was carted off the practice field with a left ankle injury.
Coach Ron Rivera didn't know the specifics, but said Sunday that he doesn't believe the injury is serious. Rivera says "until they get a chance to take a look I really couldn't tell you what it was."
Johnson is the team's top pass rusher and a key cog in a defense that has finished in the top 10 in each of the past three seasons. The 29-year-old Johnson has 62½ sacks during his eight seasons with the Panthers, including at least 8Â½ sacks in each of the past five seasons.
Defensive tackle Kawann Short returned to practice after missing the past week with a sore back.