Earlier today, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reported (via Twitter) that the Panthers weren’t considering placing defensive end Charles Johnson on their injured reserve list with the designation to return, but it appears the team reconsidered that stance today. Johnson has announced (via Instagram) that the team has used its IR-DTR slot on him, sidelining him for at least eight weeks due to his hamstring injury.
Johnson, 29, has been the Panthers’ most reliable pass rusher over the last several years, recording at least 8.5 sacks in each of his last five seasons. However, after Greg Hardy was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list in 2014 and then departed in free agency earlier in 2015, Johnson hasn’t had much help getting to the quarterback in Carolina. He had one sack in three games this season before sustaining his hamstring injury.
In Johnson’s absence, Jared Allen, acquired in a trade with the Bears, will slot into the vacated defensive end position, and the Panthers will count on the veteran pass rusher to help the unit get after quarterbacks over the next eight weeks.
While Johnson’s cap number for 2015 is $20.02MM, the highest in the NFL for a defensive player, Allen will cost the Panthers less than $1MM, since the Bears paid the majority of his 2015 earnings earlier this year, giving him an $11.5MM roster bonus.
Half of the NFL’s 32 teams have now used their IR-DTR slot. Here’s the complete list.