NFL

Panthers DE Johnson carted off field early with ankle injury

Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) celebrates after sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley (14) during the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) celebrates after sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley (14) during the fourth quarter in the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson was carted off the practice field with a left ankle injury.

Coach Ron Rivera didn't know the specifics, but said Sunday that he doesn't believe the injury is serious. Rivera says ''until they get a chance to take a look I really couldn't tell you what it was.''

Johnson is the team's top pass rusher and a key cog in a defense that has finished in the top 10 in each of the past three seasons. The 29-year-old Johnson has 62 1/2 sacks during his eight seasons with the Panthers, including at least 8 1/2 sacks in each of the past five seasons.

More from FoxSports

Defensive tackle Kawann Short returned to practice after missing the past week with a sore back.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL