CHARLOTTE – The return to practice in Charlotte meant the long-awaited return to practice for defensive end Charles Johnson.
Johnson, who had been sidelined since leaving practice early with a hamstring strain on August 2, was eased back into the rotation today.
"I felt good. They kind of took it easy today," Johnson said. "I am going to keep getting better."
Head coach Ron Rivera joked that he almost forgot about Johnson in his absence.
"Was he out there? I'm kidding. We got on Charles pretty good about it," Rivera said. "He tweeted that he made it through another camp, and guys (responded), 'Yeah, but you missed half of it.' We wanted to poke a little fun at Charles.
"But it is good to have him out there. He's kept his weight, kept his conditioning and did a nice job while he was sidelined."
Johnson, a technician who hates missing time on the practice field, was in a hurry to get back, especially with teammates and coaches giving him a hard time.
"I always want to be on the field. That's what I do; I like to work," Johnson said. "I tried to get back as quickly as possible, because guys are always joking around with me, asking me when I'm going to come back on the field because they miss me. It's all good though."
Johnson is hoping to play in Week 2 of the preseason against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, but that's yet to be determined.
"I expect to play Sunday," Johnson said. "I hope so, but it's not my decision."