Panthers TE Olsen poised to return

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) has been sidelined since the season opener.Photo Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen could be back in the lineup for Sunday’s game at the Washington Redskins.

Olsen practiced fully Thursday for the first time since he suffered a fractured right foot in a season-opening 16-8 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner told ESPN that Olsen was on target to rejoin the lineup after practicing in soggy conditions Thursday.

“If I can practice in this (rain), when the game (day) is here I should be great,” said Olsen.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Olsen missed nine games last season with a similar injury to the same foot. However, the screw that was placed in his foot to help the injury heal prevented this break from being as problematic.

Olsen had two catches for 33 yards in the opener before the injury. Last season he had 17 receptions for 191 yards in just seven games.

The 33-year-old Olsen went over 1,000 yards receiving for three straight seasons from 2014-16, earning Pro Bowl honors each year. He had 241 catches and 16 touchdowns in that span, including a career-best 84 receptions in 2014.

A first-round pick (No. 31 overall) of the Chicago Bears in the 2007 NFL Draft, Olsen is in his 12th year overall and eighth season with the Panthers.

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Olsen had started all 16 games in five consecutive seasons before suffering the foot injury in 2017. He has 639 receptions for 7,556 yards and 53 touchdowns in 165 career games.

Carolina is off to a 3-1 start despite the absence of Olsen.