Carolina Panthers

Panthers unlikely to play DE Charles Johnson on Friday

Defensive end Charles Johnson likely won’t play Friday against Buffalo, Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera indicated Monday.

Johnson injured his calf during Sunday’s practice and did not participate Monday. Rivera said the team will be cautious with Johnson, Carolina’s only established defensive end, this preseason.

“It was sore this morning,” Rivera said. “It wasn’t as bad as it was this morning but we’ll see. We’re going to be smart and the one thing we can’t afford is to not have him ready for the opener.”

There’s also no decision on rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson, who didn’t wear a shell or helmet Monday as he rehabbed his strained hamstring. Rivera’s hope is for Thompson to return to the field Tuesday but the team will have to see how he responds to Monday’s work on the sideline.

Defensive tackle Kawann Short (back) was limited and receiver Ted Ginn Jr. had a veteran’s day off. Guard Amini Silatolu (leg) also did not practice.

Cornerback Lou Young pulled his hamstring Sunday and there’s no indication he will be returning to the field soon, Rivera said.

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