Jared Allen doubtful for NFC title game with foot fracture

How much will the Panthers miss Jared Allen? (1:11)

Eric Allen says he expects Carolina's defense to overcome the loss of DE Jared Allen, who suffered a fractured foot in the Panthers' 31-24 win over the Seahawks. (1:11)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers will likely be without defensive end Jared Allen for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The NFL's active career sack leader, with 136, will be listed as doubtful after suffering a fractured foot in the fourth quarter of the Panthers' divisional playoff win Sunday over the Seattle Seahawks.

Coach Ron Rivera said Monday after Allen underwent an MRI that the injury is not as serious as the one suffered last year by defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, who underwent surgery a few days after fracturing his foot in practice and missed Carolina's subsequent playoff loss.

Allen played the final two series against Seattle with his injury.

"For the most part, it's going to be a day-by-day [issue], and we'll see how he is by the end of the week," Rivera said. "He will be listed as doubtful. As he reacts to it, hopefully we'll know going forward.

"For right now, we don't expect him to be on the practice field on Wednesday. He's treating it and doing everything he can, and we'll see how he is on Thursday morning."

Allen, 33, was looking to make his first trip to the Super Bowl after 12 years in the NFL with Kansas City, Minnesota, Chicago and Carolina, which acquired him in a trade earlier this season.

"If there is a glimmer of hope that he can play, I promise you he'll probably try to play," Rivera said. "If he can't, he's going to be around, and he'll be an annoyance. He's going to want to be right in the middle of it. He's going to want to be a part of it and help us."

Rivera said the team will likely wait until Friday or Saturday to make a roster move, if needed. He said defensive end Wes Horton, a member of the practice squad who started 15 games for Carolina last season and two this season, is an obvious option.

Second-year defensive end Kony Ealy is expected to start at right end if Allen can't play. Pass rush specialist Mario Addison would see more snaps.

"Keep playing ball," Ealy said. "Whether Jared plays or doesn't play, I've still got to be ready, I've still got to be sharp."

Ealy said he has learned a lot from Allen over the past few months and expects that to continue.

"He's going to be there," Ealy said. "Whether he plays or not is totally up to him and the doctors. He's going to be happy for us regardless."