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Nov 18, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) looks to pass as Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) defends in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Patriots 24-20 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers expect Charles Johnson, DeAngelo Williams to play

The red hot Carolina Panthers look like they will get even better this week.

Defensive end Charles Johnson and running back DeAngelo Williams returned to practice on Thursday and both players expect to play when the Panthers travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints in an absolutely huge game Sunday afternoon.

Johnson was leg-whipped by New England Patriots’ offensive lineman Marcus Cannon in a 24-20 Panthers’ victory and has missed the last two games with a strained right knee.

“I’m feeling good,” Johnson told David Newton of ESPN.com. “Knocked a little rust off, did my thing. We’ve got a long week of preparation, so I’m going to keep getting better every day so I can go into Sunday full speed.”

Johnson has 8.5 sacks this season.

Williams missed the Panthers’ 27-6 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday because of a quad contusion.

He has rushed for 610 yards and two touchdowns on 151 carries this season.

The Panthers and Saints will kickoff at 8:30 pm EST Sunday and the game is on NBC.

Tags: Carolina Panthers Charles Johnson DeAngelo Williams

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