Report: Charles Johnson Out Eight Weeks


Charles Johnson Out. Jared Allen In. Eight weeks without Johnson. That is the prognosis for the Panthers as it stands right now. According to reports from Jonathon Jones of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers have placed Johnson on the temporary IR which means he is gone eight weeks before he can be reactivated.

So what do those eight weeks look like? According to the schedule they look like this:

10/4 – AT Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10/11 – BYE
10/18 – AT Seattle Seahawks
10/25 – Philadelphia Eagles
11/2 – Indianapolis Colts
11/8 – Green Bay Packers
11/15 – AT Tennessee Titans
11/22 – Washington Redskins

There is no good time to lose your primary pass rusher, even if you are getting a capable replacement like Allen. Johnson could have an effect on all of these games from the defensive end position. We will hope that Allen will have an impact on all these games from the same spot. Yet there are two games in this series that the Panthers will miss Johnson the most.

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That would be the first two games of November, when two of the League’s most touted quarterbacks come to Bank of America Stadium. Andrew Luck will accompany the Colts and Aaron Rodgers will come with the Packers. Since both of those players have the chance to eat secondaries alive if left alone, this is where not having Johnson will hurt most.

Which game you would want him for most is not hard to say. The Colts have offensive line troubles that the remaining Panthers should be able to exploit. Would Johnson exploit them better? We won’t know. The Packers are missing Jordy Nelson, but not any of their offensive line. With Johnson out, it will be case of familiarity. Does Allen know the Packers better or do they know Allen better?

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The other teams are developing new quarterbacks or whole new teams. The Panthers will face Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Kirk Cousins, and Sam Bradford in that group of games. Each of them has the potential to be dangerous, but the Panthers defense should keep away from breakout games (although they did let Luke McCown do his thing).

The other game is the Seahawks. I don’t think the Panthers will miss Johnson as much for that game because quarterback Russell Wilson requires a different kind of scheme. Like the old Michael Vick defense, the Panthers will want to contain Wilson in the pocket as opposed to allowing him to make plays outside of it. That strategy does not demand a strong pass rush, because an aggressive rusher might miss Wilson and give him the openings that he needs.

Again the hope is that Jared Allen solves these problems, but the Panthers need to do more than ride out these eight weeks.

Next: Review of Week 3 for the Carolina Panthers