CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- The Carolina Panthers will be without one of its big defenders for the next few weeks. Friday morning the NFL announced defensive end Charles Johnson has been suspended for the next four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances.

Johnson will be eligible to return to the Panthers’ active roster on Monday, December 25 following the team’s December 24 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Johnson released a statement about his suspension:

"I accept full responsibility. I have been recovering from back surgery, dealing with the daily grind of football and mistakenly thought this could help. It was an error in judgement on my part. We have a special group here I wanted to be a part of and felt an obligation to do my part by getting back as soon as possible. I have always prided myself on being a person who does things the right way through hard work, dedication and sacrifice. I want to apologize to my team, Mr. Richardson and Panthers fans for this mistake. Regretfully I have disappointed people, but I promise to come back ready to redeem myself when this suspension is over."

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