Johnson, who underwent a procedure to repair a herniated disc earlier in the offseason, is on pace for a full return at training camp. The 30-year-old doesn't have much to prove in Carolina, so the team can gradually ease him back into action if need be.
Head coach Ron Rivera does not seem concerned about Johnson's (back) recent back surgery, Joseph Person of The Charlotte Observer reports. "This is one of those things that if you play football, you're gonna have this. This was just an easy fix from my understanding," Rivera said. "We're just glad that it's done and he's feeling good and doing the things he's supposed to be doing now."
Johnson recently underwent a microdisectomy to repair a herniated disc, an operation that became necessary after an epidural failed to improve his lower back pain. Although Rivera admitted he wasn't sure of Johnson's timeline for a return, the 30-year-old defensive end is expected back for training camp and should be full go for the start of the 2017 season.
Johnson (back) is undergoing surgery that will keep him out of action until training camp, Max Henson of the team's official site reports.
The 30-year-old, who recently signed a two-year extension, has been been dealing with back pain and will undergo a minor surgery to address the issue. Head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said of the situation, "Following the surgery, we want Charles as active as possible while still taking the proper precautions. He will be up and moving around the next day, and we will progressively bring him back." Johnson recorded 26 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and two pass deflections through 13 games last season and shows no signs of slowing down. Look for more updates on his status to come once training camp is underway.
Johnson, who has been with the Panthers since 2007, is not going anywhere soon. The veteran defensive end ranks second all-time for the Panthers with 67.5 sacks, and has been the team captain for three straight seasons. He could have become an unrestricted free agent, but instead opted to stick with familiar scenery. He will presumably head into 2017 as the team's starting left defensive end.
Johnson returned from a two-game absence to suit up for last week's contest versus the Falcons, but it isn't clear if he sustained a setback while playing. In his absence, look for Kony Ealy to get the start at defensive end opposite Wes Horton.
|P2||8/19/17||@ TEN||3:00 pm|
|P3||8/24/17||@ JAC||7:30 pm|
|1||9/10/17||@ SF||4:25 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ NE||1:00 pm|
|5||10/8/17||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|7||10/22/17||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ TB||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 11|
|12||11/26/17||@ NYJ||1:00 pm|
|13||12/3/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|