Chicago Bears fans looking to cheer on familiar faces in this week’s NFC Championship Game will have one less player on the field Sunday, as Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen has been ruled out of the game.
Allen, who was traded to Carolina by the Bears earlier this season, suffered an injury in the team’s win over the Seattle Seahawks last week, and even though he thought he would be ready to go, he was ruled out by the coaching staff on Friday.
“Not happy, plain and simple,” he told reporters on Friday. “I’m ready to rock. Coach’s decision. Gotta live with it.”
Allen suffered a fractured bone in his foot during last week’s game, but he did participate in practice during the week with the Panthers. Head coach Ron Rivera’s decision not to play Allen doesn’t necessarily rule him out if the Panthers can make it to the Super Bowl, however.
Bears fans will still have a couple of people to keep an eye on Sunday as the Panthers take on the Arizona Cardinals. Rivera served as the defensive coordinator for the Bears team that reached Super Bowl XLI back in 2007, and the Panthers also have Greg Olsen, whom the Bears traded to Carolina after the 2010 season.
The Panthers also had former Bears cornerback Charles Tillman on their roster this season, but he is out for the year after tearing a ligament in his knee late in the campaign.