Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers DE Charles Johnson leaves game early with injury

All season long, the Carolina Panthers have prided themselves on their incredible defense and that has a lot to do with their stout defensive front anchored by Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson. But as we’ve seen in almost every single playoff game this postseason so far, big names are getting injured on the first drive of games and the Panthers were not immune to that.

The Kansas City Chiefs lost Jamaal Charles on the first drive of their game, the Seattle Seahawks lost Percy Harvin on their first drive of their game yesterday and now the Carolina Panthers lost defensive end Charles Johnson on their first defensive series of the game.

Johnson went down on the very first play of the game, which was a giant stuffing of Frank Gore’s first carry of the game. The 49ers lost yardage, but the Panthers lost Johnson who took a long time to get up before eventually hobbling off the field to the Carolina sideline.

Unlike Charles and Harvin, Johnson’s injury looked to be lower body, but that doesn’t help his cause. Johnson was injured earlier in the year and losing him on the first defensive series of the game is a killer. He may return, but for now the Panthers are realizing that the playoffs take a toll.

Tags: Carolina Panthers Charles Johnson San Francisco 49ers