The Carolina Panthers have been hit with a blow to their defense for the NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday, as defensive end Jared Allen has been ruled out of the clash.
Head coach Ron Rivera announced on Friday that the former Chicago Bears player would not be playing due to a broken bone in his foot.
This decision shouldn't come as any surprise as he was considered doubtful for the majority of the week, but his participation in practice on Thursday gave some hope that he might have been able to play by Sunday.
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According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, Allen was not very happy with the situation, as he felt he was ready to play, but it was the coach that made the final call.
He said: "Not happy, plain and simple. I'm ready to rock. Coach's decision, gotta live with it."
Allen will get another opportunity to play for the Panthers this season in two weeks time in the Super Bowl. That's if they manage to defeat the Cardinals this Sunday and if his foot is able to heal enough for Rivera to be satisfied that he can play.
In the meantime, it will be Kony Ealy that will start in Allen's place at defensive end, while the head coach has also said Ryan Delaire will see increased playing time as well.
Ealy managed to have five sacks in 16 games this season, while Allen only managed two in 12 games, and one in three games while he was at the Bears before his trade.