CHARLOTTE – Defensive end Charles Johnson is one of four Panthers ruled out for Sunday's game at the Miami Dolphins.
Johnson sustained a knee sprain when he was leg-whipped by Patriots offensive lineman Marcus Cannon in Carolina's Monday night victory and didn't participate in practice all week.
"It's very frustrating. You lose a guy on something that is an illegal play," Rivera said. "You don't ever want to see that happen."
When asked if Johnson could be out for more than one week, Rivera replied, "Hopefully not."
"You want to get him back as fast as you can but at the same time you don't want to get him back when he's halfway back," Rivera said. "It's the same thing with Chase, Ben and Chris"
Linebacker Chase Blackburn (foot), tight end Ben Hartsock (knee) and guard Chris Scott (knee) also will not play. This is the second consecutive missed game for Blackburn and Hartsock and the third for Scott.
Defensive end Greg Hardy (knee) returned to practice on Friday after missing Thursday's session and is probable. As for who will start opposite Hardy in place of Johnson, Rivera said that's still to be determined.