WASHINGTON: Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen admitted he wasn’t happy at being ruled out of Sunday’s NFL playoff showdown with Arizona because of a broken right foot.
The Panthers, who went 15-1 this season, and Arizona, which went 13-3, meet in Charlotte in the National Conference final to determine a berth in Super Bowl 50.
The winner faces the American Conference champion, either the Denver Broncos or defending Super Bowl champion New England, in next month’s NFL championship spectacle.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he was keeping Allen on the sidelines after the small bone break suffered last week against Seattle, but admitted Allen would have chosen to play Sunday if he could.
“Not happy, plain and simple,” said Allen, who declared himself 100 percent. “I’m ready to rock. Coach’s decision, got to live with it. I’ve got to respect his decision.”
Rivera and Allen hope the move pays off by ensuring Allen will be healthy and play in the Super Bowl, providing the Panthers get there.
“I’ll be ready to go,” Allen said. “So hopefully we can get this one knocked out and be ready for the Super Bowl.”
Allen, 33, is the NFL’s active leader in sacks and had three quarterback hurries last week against Seattle. Allen has only two sacks for the Panthers since arriving in Carolina in an October trade with Chicago.