Carolina Panthers

This time with feeling: Panthers DE Jared Allen dealing with numbness in foot

dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Panthers defensive end Jared Allen has played through a lot in his 12 seasons: torn knee ligaments, a shoulder issue and various other injuries and ailments.

But this is a new one: Allen is trying to get the feeling back in his left foot.

“Out of everything I’ve played with, this is probably the weirdest because when things go numb, there’s just no activation,” Allen said Tuesday.

Allen pinched a nerve in his lower back during walkthrough Oct. 3, five days after the Panthers acquired him in a trade with Chicago. Allen started against Tampa Bay on Oct. 4, making a tackle and getting a hit on quarterback Jameis Winston before leaving in the second half when the pain became too great.

Allen said he’s no longer in pain and is day-to-day for Sunday’s game at Seattle.

Allen has missed only two games due to injury in his career. He sat out a game with a torn MCL as a rookie before missing the Green Bay game last year with pneumonia, which caused him to lose nearly 40 pounds.

“I don’t like missing games. I think if I can be out there I can have an impact,” Allen said. “Even (against the Bucs) I was able to do some things in the run game more so. As far as pass rush, there wasn’t a lot going on with that.”

Allen has been a resource this week while the Panthers prepare for the Seahawks. He faced Seattle in Week 3 when he was with the Bears.

“He’s talked about them already,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “So we’ve got some insight as to what they tried to do when he was in Chicago and different things that were successful with what they did.”

Put me in, coach

Ex-Seahawks receiver Kevin Norwood isn’t concerned about playing his former team this week. Norwood just wants to play.

Norwood, acquired in a trade with Seattle on Sept. 1, has been inactive in three of the four games. In the only game he played, he had a Cam Newton pass bounce off his hands that a Houston Texans defensive back intercepted in Week 2.

“I don’t really care who we’re playing or where we’re going, I just want to play,” Norwood said. “Sitting on the sidelines is no fun.”

The Panthers liked the 6-2 Norwood’s length when they traded for him, as well as his sure-handedness. But Rivera said it’s been tough for Norwood to get a full grasp of the playbook while learning it on the fly.

Rivera said the Panthers also don’t want to cut into the reps of second-year wideout Philly Brown and rookie Devin Funchess.

“He’s a smart guy. He’s athletic. He has good hands. He runs good routes. He’s learning the system still,” Rivera said of Norwood. “There are some parts that are new to him that he struggles with right now because he hasn’t had the reps.”

Byrd surprised by timing of Spurrier’s departure

Panthers practice squad wideout Damiere Byrd, who played at South Carolina, said he wasn’t surprised by Steve Spurrier’s decision to retire. But the timing of it caught Byrd off-guard.

“I just didn’t think it would happen midseason, regardless of whatever the reasons are,” Byrd said. “The season is already full-swing, and you would think he would have stuck it out until the end of the season.”

Byrd said Spurrier was well-liked by most players. But with Spurrier turning 70 this year, Byrd said players figured he wouldn’t coach much longer.

“Everybody kind of got the inclination his era would be over at some point,” he said. “But we just didn’t think it would be so soon.”

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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