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Potential blow for Panthers, Charles Johnson injured

Charles Johnson

Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) is shown during player introductions prior to an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams in Charlotte, NC Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


The Panthers just finished off another impressive win, but it might have come at a cost.

Defensive end Charles Johnson, their highest-paid player, was hauled off the field on a cart with a groin injury in the final moments of a game that seemed like it wouldn’t die.

There’s concern. We’ll see,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer.

Losing Johnson would be a huge hit for a Panthers defense which has played at a high level all season.

Johnson had a pair of sacks Thursday night, giving him 6.0 on the season and 39.0 since the start of the 2010 season, when he became a full-time starter. But he’s also an excellent run defender, the kind of two-way player that’s hard to replace.