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Panthers DE Charles Johnson returns to game after leg injury

By Ryan Wilson |

Defensive end Charles Johnson, one of the Panthers' most dynamic pass rushers, left Monday night's game against the Patriots early in the third quarter after sustaining what appeared to be a right-knee injury.

He was inadvertently kicked by Patriots right guard Marcus Cannon.

Monday Night Football color commentator and former NFL coach Jon Gruden disagreed, saying that Cannon leg-whipped Johnson and that "it should have been a 15-yard penalty and that will be reviewed by the league office."

Johnson, who signed a six-year, $76-million contract in 2 011, limped off the field and was examined by the Panthers medical staff on the sidelines before being carted into the bowels of the stadium for more tests.

Johnson returned to the bench a short time later and made his way back onto the field in the fourth quarter.

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