Panthers getting healthier as season progresses

AP

The Panthers have won eight straight, and are headed into their latest biggest game of the season against the Saints next Sunday night.

And the good news is they’re getting a pair of key contributors back in time for it.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera told reporters that defensive end Charles Johnson and running back DeAngelo Williams were expected to return to practice Wednesday after missing yesterday with injuries.

Johnson’s missed the last two with a knee sprain after getting leg-whipped against the Patriots, while Williams missed yesterday’s win over the Buccaneers with a quadriceps strain.

The fact the Panthers didn’t miss a beat without their highest-paid player and their leading rusher is indicative of the kind of team concept Rivera has established, and part of the reason they have a good shot at the NFC South title with a pair of games against the Saints remaining.