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Injuries: Jared Allen (foot) ruled out for Panthers

The Panthers' lingering injury question ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship Game has been answered, but it's not the answer the team wanted.

Carolina has ruled defensive end Jared Allen (foot) out for the penultimate contest. Allen suffered the injury during the Divisional Round and was held out of practice for most of this week before participating in a limited fashion on Thursday. Kony Ealy will start in place of the veteran.

Allen said he was disappointed he will not be allowed to play Sunday. When asked by ESPN if he could have played, Allen said, "Absolutely."

On Thursday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said that both Allen and running back Jonathan Stewart "looked pretty good," and that Allen's availability would be based on pain tolerance. Clearly, much has changed in a day. Allen will be sidelined, while Stewart is probable to play against the Cardinals.

On the bright side, this news isn't a surprise to the Panthers, who hadn't promised Allen anything.

"I don't want him thinking he's going to play no matter what," Rivera said Wednesday, via ESPN.com. "I've got a group of guys I've got to get ready to play with or without him. ... I don't want to give any false indications either way, because I want these guys focused in on preparing for themselves."

In 12 games with the Panthers this season, Allen has logged two sacks.

Here are some other injuries that we are tracking:

  1. Patriots offensive linemen Tre' Jackson (knee) and LaAdrian Waddle (shoulder) have been downgraded to out. New England has 14 players listed as questionable for Sunday's tilt against the Broncos. Jamie Collins (back), Scott Chandler (knee), Julian Edelman (foot) and Rob Gronkowski (knee/back) are among the group listed.
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