The chances of Panthers defensive end Jared Allen playing in the NFC title game never looked good and now they’re nonexistent.
Coach Ron Rivera said Friday that Allen has been ruled out for the game after breaking a bone in his foot. Rivera said early in the week that the team considered Allen doubtful to play against the Cardinals, although there was some hope that he’d be able to defy that label when he took part in practice on Thursday.
It wasn’t to be, however, and Allen will rest on Sunday. Allen said, via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, he is “not happy” about Rivera’s call because he feels “ready to rock.”
Should the Panthers win, he’d have two weeks to see if his foot feels well enough for him to make his first appearance in a Super Bowl.
Kony Ealy will get the start in Allen’s place. The 2014 second-round pick made nine starts and played in all 16 games this year. He had 32 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles. Mario Addison could also see more playing time with Allen out of the picture.
Running backs Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker are listed as probable for Sunday along with defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.