The Carolina Panthers have talked a lot this week about forcing Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford to throw on the run.
They’ll have one of the league’s all-time sacks leader to help them try to do it.
Defensive end Jared Allen will start Sunday against the Eagles after sitting out last week’s game at Seattle with a pinched nerve in his back, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Friday.
Rivera hopes Allen can play 30-35 snaps against the Eagles after missing only the third game in his 12-year career due to injury.
“He tried to maintain his conditioning. I don’t think the one week off is going to hurt him,” Rivera said. “He had a real good week of building it back up and today he just cut it loose. It was good to see.”
Allen, whose 134 sacks rank ninth all-time and are most among active players, was acquired Sept. 29 in a trade with Chicago. He played but did not record a sack against Tampa Bay on Oct. 4 after getting injured the day before the game during a walkthrough.
Panthers linebacker A.J. Klein and special teams ace Teddy Williams have been cleared in the concussion protocol and will play against the Eagles.
The three players who missed practice all week have been ruled out: rookie linebacker Shaq Thompson (knee), defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (ankle) and rookie offensive tackle Daryl Williams (knee).
Reserve tight end/fullback Richie Brockel, who has been sidelined with a hamstring issue, was placed on injured reserve. The Panthers signed tight end Scott Simonson from the practice squad to replace Brockel, who was on IR last year with an ankle injury.
With only three healthy defensive tackles, Rivera said ends Kony Ealy and Wes Horton would slide inside in some passing situations.
Ealy will start at left end opposite Allen, and Rivera hopes they’ll be part of a front four that harasses Bradford, whose nine interceptions are tied for the second most behind Peyton Manning’s 10 picks.
“They’re a precision, route-running team and we’ve got to do something to not allow (Bradford) to know exactly where his guys are,” Rivera said. “When a quarterback’s moving his feet and has to change his launch point, it’s going to disrupt the timing.”