T hough the Vikings aren't playing in the Super Bowl, it doesn't mean Minnesota's presence won't be felt. We've found several connections to the Vikings or Minnesota — the obvious of which is former Vikings standout Jared Allen, who is now with Carolina. Here's what you should know about who you're rooting for:
Jared Allen, defensive end: Allen played six seasons with the Vikings (2008-2013), during which he was selected to four Pro Bowls. Allen signed with Chicago as a free agent in March 2014 and spent one full season with the Bears before being traded to Carolina three weeks into the 2015 season. Allen had 28 tackles and two sacks for Carolina before breaking a small bone in his foot in the divisional playoff round against Seattle. Allen was inactive for Sunday's NFC Championship Game victory over Arizona. However, Allen said he was ready to play and was disappointed with the decision to keep him out of the game. He'll likely keep fighting to get back on the field for what would be Allen's first Super Bowl appearance in his 12-year career.
Joe Webb, quarterback/special teams: The athletic Webb served as a backup quarterback during four seasons in Minnesota. He was named the starting quarterback for the Vikings' 2012 wild-card playoff game, a 24-10 loss at Green Bay, when starter Christian Ponder was injured. Webb signed with Carolina in 2014. He's been active every game this season and contributes on special teams.
Mike Remmers, tackle: Remmer was signed by the Vikings for depth in November 2013, but never played and was released before the next season. Carolina signed Remmers off the St. Louis Rams' practice squad in 2014. He earned a starting role on the offensive line this season and has started all 18 games during Carolina's 17-1 run to the Super Bowl.
Kurt Coleman, free safety: Coleman signed a one-year deal with the Vikings in April 2014, but was cut at the end of the preseason. Coleman signed a two-year contract with Carolina in 2015 and tied for the NFC lead with seven interceptions this year.
David Yankey, guard: The Vikings drafted Yankey, a two-time All-America guard out of Stanford, in the fifth round (No.145 overall) in 2014. He failed to earn any playing time his rookie year and ended up on the practice squad this season after being waived at the end of training camp. He's currently listed on the Panthers' reserve/future roster.
Ryan Kalil, center: The Panthers' Pro Bowl center is the older brother of Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil.
Ryan Harris, tackle: Harris is a Cretin-Derham Hall graduate. He lettered in football and wrestling at the private school in St. Paul before attending Notre Dame, where he started at offensive tackle for four seasons. Denver selected Harris in the third round (No. 70 overall) of the 2007 NFL draft. He returned for his third stint in Denver in 2015 and has played in every game this season.
Fred Pagac, outside linebackers coach: Pagac joined the Vikings staff in 2006 and spent eight seasons with the Vikings in various roles, including defensive coordinator. He joined Denver's staff as the outside linebackers coach this season.
Joe Woods, defensive backs coach: Woods joined the Vikings in 2006 as the secondary coach and also spent eight seasons with the franchise. He joined Denver's staff as the defensive backs coach this season.