Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen re-fractured his right foot this past weekend and will be evaluated monthly, the team announced Tuesday.
“There are no plans for surgery at this time,” Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said of Olsen, who is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
“We will monitor his rehab and evaluate his progress on a monthly basis.”
It suggests Olsen will be sidelined for a significant period, although it remains unclear whether he can return sometime this season.
The Panthers also announced that offensive tackle Daryl Williams was recommended to undergo surgery to repair a knee injury he sustained in Sunday’s 16-8 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Williams initially dislocated his right patella and tore his MCL early in training camp.
Olsen had two catches for 33 yards on Sunday before exiting the game in the first quarter after stepping on the foot of a defender while running a pass route. He ended up making a 19-yard catch on the play before returning after halftime sporting crutches and a walking boot.
“To say I am disappointed in this development would be an understatement,” Olsen wrote Tuesday afternoon on Twitter. “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.
“With that being said, we are optimistic this is not how my 2018 season will end. After consulting with our medical team, we have determined our best course of action is to press forward with my rehab in hopes of playing again this season. We will re-examine our options this offseason in regards to my foot and our path forward. I look forward to rejoining my teammates on the field as early as possible.”
Olsen has 639 receptions for 7,556 yards and 53 touchdowns in 165 career games since being selected by the Chicago Bears with the 31st overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Rookie Ian Thomas will be looked upon to step up in the absence of Olsen, who initially broke his foot in Week 2 last season against the Buffalo Bills. He had surgery for that fracture and sat out nine contests.
Coach Ron Rivera spoke highly of the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Thomas, who was a fourth-round pick of Carolina in the 2018 NFL Draft. The 23-year-old had two receptions for 4 yards on Sunday.
“I think he’s pretty well-prepared,” Rivera said. “There are some things obviously that he still has to learn, and he’s got a long ways to go in terms of that natural feel that Greg has, having that rapport that Greg has, so we’ll see.”