Carolina Panthers defensive end Jared Allen says he’s ready to play Sunday, and all indications are that he’ll be active against the Eagles.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll be a starter.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera was hesitant to name Allen the starter one week after the veteran defensive end missed only his third career game because of injury.
Rivera said he’ll have to sit down with defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and defensive line coach Eric Washington before making a decision on the starters at defensive end.
“We’ve got a pretty good rotation, and one way or the other he’s going to play,” Rivera said.
Allen suffered a pinched nerve in his back during a walk-through practice before Week 4’s win at Tampa Bay. It caused him to lose some feeling in his left leg. He rehabbed during the bye but was inactive for the Seattle game and did not make the trip.
The Panthers went with Kony Ealy and Wes Horton as the starters at defensive end, and it’s unclear if that will remain the same Sunday night. Allen was a full participant at Thursday’s practice.
Linebacker A.J. Klein and cornerback Teddy Williams, both in the concussion protocol, were full participants at practice and are awaiting clearance from an independent neurologist.
The Panthers likely won’t have many tough decisions to make with inactives on Sunday night. Four players did not participate in practice Thursday, which usually signals they won’t play Sunday.
Tight end Richie Brockel (hamstring) and offensive tackle Daryl Williams (knee) worked on the side. Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (ankle) and linebacker Shaq Thompson (knee) were not at practice and have essentially already been ruled out for this week.