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Broken foot sidelines former Viking Jared Allen for NFC Championship

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Jared Allen hasn't played in an NFC Championship game since the 2009 season, when he and the Vikings came within a Brett Favre interception of going to the Super Bowl.

Allen hasn't been even close to the Super Bowl since then – that is, until this year when Chicago traded the former Viking to Carolina, where Allen found himself right in the thick of it again.

That is, until he broke a bone in his foot last Sunday in Carolina's 31-24 victory over Seattle.

On Friday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera ruled Allen out for the NFC Championship game against Arizona. The Associated Press notes that Allen expressed disappointment about the decision, adding that he felt healthy enough to play.

Rivera said early in the week that Allen was doubtful to play against the Cardinals, but he was able to practice on Thursday. Not playing on Sunday will give Allen two additional weeks to get ready for the Super Bowl – should the Panthers win.

According to Pro Football Talk, Kony Ealy will start in Allen's place. The Panthers second round pick in 2014 started nine games and played in all 16 this season. He has 32 tackles, five sacks and three forced fumbles.

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