Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke his foot in the opening quarter of the team’s 16-8 season-opening win over the Dallas Cowboys, according to ESPN.
Olsen left the game with a foot injury only a year after being forced to leave a game against the Buffalo Bills with the same injury last season. Olsen later reappeared on the sidelines with crutches and left the stadium in a walking boot.
Olsen needed surgery for last year’s foot injury and missed nine games while recovering.
While the team announced that there are no plans for surgery on Olsen’s latest injury, they revealed they would be evaluating him on a month to month basis and see how the injury progresses.
Olsen released a statement today on social media expressing his disappointment with suffering the injury.
“Since returning to action last season and throughout the 2018 preseason, my foot responded incredibly well to the surgery and I had no limitations as I prepared for the season. I had high expectations for this season and I felt I had one of my best training camps of my career.” Olsen wrote in his statement.
“To say I am disappointed in this development would be an understatement. I believe my greatest career achievement has been my ability to play every game for over a decade. Unfortunately, the last two seasons have not continued that trend.” He continued.
This is awful news for Olsen and the organization, who just signed a two-year extension linking him with the team through 2020. It’s no surprise the Panthers wanted to ensure that the 33-year-old Olsen, the first tight end in NFL history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2014-16), remained with the team as a safety blanket for star quarterback Cam Newton.
While Olsen will certainly be missed by the Carolina Panthers, Olsen thinks the team has a capable fallback option with rookie tight end Ian Thomas.
Olsen told ESPN in an interview this preseason that he couldn’t imagine there is a more complete tight end to come out of the 2018 draft class than Thomas.
“Ian has all the traits to be a true NFL tight end,” Olsen said. “He’s strong enough. He can engage at the line of scrimmage. He’s smooth. He’s faster than you think he is. He catches the ball well. So I think Ian has a chance to have all the traits to be a complete guy.” Olsen told ESPN.
“There’s a handful of them throughout the league that are asked to play every down. Ian is a guy that has those traits early.”