Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen leaves season-opener with foot injury

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen leaves season-opener with foot injury
When Olsen returned to the bench after halftime, he was wearing a walking boot on his right foot and using crutches. (David T. Foster III | The Charlotte Observer)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen exited the team’s season-opener against Dallas with a foot injury and will not return.

Olsen left the game late in the first quarter after recording two catches for 33 yards, and was visibly frustrated on the sidelines. When Olsen returned to the bench after halftime, he was wearing a walking boot on his right foot and using crutches.

There is no immediate timetable for his return.

That right foot is the same one Olsen injured in Week 2 last season, when he suffered a Jones fracture and was placed on injured reserve. While he ultimately returned to the lineup later in the season, he missed eight games while his surgically-repaired foot healed. Former NFL team doctor David J. Chao said on Twitter there, “is known refracture rate and also higher risk to other side,” with Jones fracture patients.

He finished the 2017 season with his lowest yardage total (191) of any of his seven years with Carolina.

Olsen isn’t the only Panthers tight end to experience a Jones fracture, as backup Chris Manhertz suffered the same injury earlier this summer. Manhertz missed most of training camp and the preseason, but he returned to practice in the last two weeks and played Sunday.

With Olsen sidelined, it will be up to Manhertz and rookie Ian Thomas, a fourth-rounder out of Indiana, to handle tight end responsibilities. Thomas earned the No. 2 job in training camp and the preseason for his athleticism, improved route running, and willingness to contribute as a blocker.

Copyright 2018 The Charlotte Observer. All rights reserved.