Jared Allen of the Carolina Panthers fractured his foot in Sunday’s Divisional Playoff victory over the Seahawks.
The Carolina Panthers may not have gotten out of Sunday’s win with the Seattle Seahawks unscathed after all. The team announced yesterday that defensive end Jared Allen was being listed as doubtful for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game. The track record for Panthers players playing with a doubtful status is not good at all, according to reports from Jared Dubin of CBS Sports. Not one Panther who has been labeled as doubtful has returned for the upcoming game.
Allen fractured his foot in the later part of the Seahawks game. He managed the pain for a couple of drives, but then reported the problem to team doctors at the end of the game. An MRI found the broken foot bone.
Losing Allen will hurt since he was part of that pass rush by committee approach that the Panthers had been utilizing. He also was a positive force in the locker room and a source of leadership on the field. He may only have had two sacks with the team since his acquisition in week 4, but the Panthers have been glad to have him to prevent teams from focusing their offensive blocking elsewhere.
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Allen will likely be replaced by another of the Panthers’ rush ends. That would be either second year man Kony Ealy or Mario Addison on the other side of Charles Johnson on the line. Ealy had a series of good games in the middle of the year, and Addison is no slouch either. Addison had six sacks to Ealy’s five over the course of the season.
For the Panthers this is the kind of injury they can handle which came at a position of relative depth. The interior defensive linemen are more vital and they are all healthy. Losing Allen will likely not change the defensive gameplan for the Panthers or how the Arizona Cardinals would try to attack them.
The Panthers play the Cardinals at 6:40 PM on Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl at stake.