Rumors regarding the health status of of several key Carolina Panthers players have been conflicting over the past 24 hours, but the latest injury update from insiders provides good news for Panthers fans. After defeating the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC divisional playoffs yesterday, whispers came out of the locker room that running back Jonathan Stewart and defensive Jared Allen suffered injuries in the victory. While the Panthers are an exceptional football team, they are going to need everyone healthy if they have any hopes of beating the tough Arizona Cardinals in the NFC championship game. Here is the latest on Stewart and Allen.
For Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, talent has never been a question. The eight-year veteran out of Oregon is having one of the best seasons of his career, and his six rushing touchdowns are his most since 2009. Stewart’s problem has always been injuries, and he has already missed three games this season. He also has not played all 16 games since 2011.
While the Panthers were favored to defeat the Seahawks in yesterday’s game, they still needed to get off to a quick start against a team with much more playoff experience. On the first play of the game, Stewart provided the spark that they needed when he ran for 59 yards. This led to a touchdown and really set the tone for the Panthers offense in the first half.
While Panthers fans were finally able to exhale after the team pulled out the 31-24 victory, they got some concerning news after the game. In his press conference, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera told the media that Stewart had his ankle rolled on.
Ron Rivera says Jonathan Stewart had his ankle rolled on vs. Seahawks. Was not his sprained foot. Should be OK.— Joe Person (@josephperson) January 18, 2016
Since it was not his problem leg, he was expected to be fine, but they still wanted to monitor the ankle over the next 24 hours. According to ProFootballTalk, Stewart should be good to go against the Cardinals next Sunday. While he may need treatment over the course of the week, the injury is not expected to limit him. While Stewart ended the game with 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns, he only played sparingly in the second half. Expect him to receive a full workload next week.
While Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen is not the same player that he once was, he still provides veteran leadership and stability for a young team that is looking to make a Super Bowl run. According to ESPN, Allen fractured his foot at an unknown point in the game. With only two sacks in 13 games, Allen is not exactly getting to the quarterback as he once did, but he is still a disruptive player.
Directly after the game ended, Mike Persinger of the Charolette Observer reported that Allen’s season might very well be over.
Persinger notes that Allen was not on crutches after the game though, and wants to play against the Cardinals. In order to fully diagnose the extent of the damage, an MRI was done on Allen’s foot, but the results are not yet in, according to Rivera.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera on Jared Allen: "Still waiting on the MRI on that." Says they should have "something definitive" soon.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 18, 2016
Unless the damage is more severe than originally speculated, it appears as though Allen may end up playing. Since the injury is to a small bone in his foot, it may very well be an issue of just dealing with the pain, as opposed to the risk of further damage. Allen is going to require surgery regardless if he plays or not, but he may be able to put it off until after the season is over.
Update on #Panthers DE Jared Allen: Nothing has changed from yesterday. Broken small bone near his pinky. He still plans to play through it.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 18, 2016
Judging by the importance of the game and Allen’s history of playing through injuries, the odds are that he is in the lineup on Sunday against the Cardinals.
UPDATE: It appears as though Allen is now doubtful to play after the MRI results came back, according to ProFootballTalk. His status will be updated throughout the week.
As reported by The Inquisitr, the Panthers have an excellent chance of making their first Super Bowl since 2004. While the Cardinals have an elite offense, the Panthers defense is one of the best in the game and appears to be ready for the challenge. According to Vegas Insider, the Panthers are 3-points favorites over the Cardinals. Since these two teams are so evenly matched, the fact that the game will be played in Charlotte could make the difference.
Rumors regarding the health status of Jonathan Stewart and Jared Allen will continue to come out throughout the week, but the odds are both will be in the lineup for the Carolina Panthers.
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