by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (12/4/13) Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson, who leads the team with 8 1/2 sacks, will play Sunday at New Orleans barring a setback, reports the Charlotte Observer. Johnson has missed the past two games with a knee injury.
Charles Johnson could be ready to return Week 14
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (12/2/13) Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson has missed the last two games with a knee injury, but he could be on the verge of returning. On Monday, coach Ron Rivera said he expects Johnson back at practice Wednesday as Carolina prepares for a Week 14 showdown at New Orleans.
Panthers DST gets back to dominating
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (12/1/13) Even though it allowed an average of 18.0 points on 361.0 yards, the Panthers DST wasn't as productive for Fantasy owners in Weeks 11 and 12 as it was in Weeks 3-10. But it responded Week 13 against the Buccaneers with a performance that was dominant by any measure.
Not only did the Panthers allow just six points on 206 yards, but they recorded five sacks, including two by Wes Horton, and one interception. They also recovered a fumble.
It was the fourth time this season that the Panthers DST allowed 10 points or fewer in a game. That said, it's in for its toughest matchup yet Week 14 at New Orleans.
Wes Horton looks like Charles Johnson
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (12/1/13) With sack artist Charles Johnson sidelined for the second time by a sprained knee, reserve defensive lineman Wes Horton made a surprising contribution for the Panthers against the Buccaneers in Week 13. The rookie recorded not only the first sack of his career, but the second as well.
He finished with three tackles, including two solo. He entered the day with only four tackles all season.
Mike Mitchell records an interception
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (12/1/13) Panthers defensive back Mike Mitchell, who had gone six games without an interception since recording two Week 6 at Minnesota, got back on board Week 13 against the Buccaneers, pulling down an off-target deep ball from quarterback Mike Glennon in the third quarter.
Mitchell also had four tackles, including three solo. He's averaging 3.9 tackles per game.
No Headlines Available
Carolina's defense is trending in the right direction after picking up 39 sacks and holding opponents to 3,568 passing yards and 1,761 rushing yards in 2012 (yes that's not bad). They could use an upgrade in the defensive secondary but got lucky in the NFL draft and picked up defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short with first- and second-round picks respectively. While the team is in a position to be a better defense, their division is loaded with high-powered offenses and their 2013 schedule includes games against powerhouses like New England, San Francisco and the N.Y. Giants. The Panthers aren't worth drafting but could be considered as a multi-week replacement option off waivers once the season gets going, particularly in Week 2 against the Bills and later on when they take on the Jets in Week 15. (Updated 5/15/13)