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Johnson, Williams probable for Week 9


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers endured a scare when defensive end Charles Johnson was helped off the field with a groin injury last week in Tampa Bay, but Johnson practiced for the first time this week on Friday and is probable for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Running back DeAngelo Williams (quad) practiced for the first time as well and is also listed probable.

"Charles looked good. He did a lot of stuff today, as did DeAngelo. Really happy about that," head coach Ron Rivera said.

Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (hamstring) had another good day of practice and is expected to play in his first game since Week 2.

"Dwan looked really good," Rivera said. "It'll take some of the snaps off the (rookie defensive tackles), and that's probably the biggest thing. The rookie wall is inevitable."

Linebacker Chase Blackburn's status is a bit uncertain. Blackburn (foot) was a limited participant in Friday's practice. He is listed questionable and will be a game-time decision.

"(On Sunday) we'll get him out of the field early and make our decision based on how he feels," Rivera said.

Lastly, all signs point to the Panthers activating running back Jonathan Stewart off the physically unable to perform list Saturday.

Sunday would be the first game Stewart has played in since injuring his ankle in Week 12 last year. Rivera said he would ideally like to get Stewart 6-10 touches in his 2013 debut.

"Jonathan looked good. We'll do all the official stuff tomorrow," Rivera said. "I don't want to get ahead of myself until we do things officially."

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