Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen reportedly will "miss a significant chunk of time" and is considered "month to month," according to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, after re-fracturing his foot in the first quarter of Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Olsen released a statement on the injury:
"There are no plans for surgery at this time," Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said Tuesday, per the team's official site. "We will monitor his rehab and evaluate his progress on a monthly basis."
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Olsen plans to rest his foot for a few weeks, then play the rest of the season before having surgery on his foot.
Olsen, 33, missed nine games last year with the same injury. It was the first time Olsen missed any time due to injury since his rookie campaign.
Along the way, Olsen established himself as one of the top tight ends in football and as Cam Newton's most reliable receiver. Between 2014-16, Olsen registered at least 1,000 receiving yards per season, and for his career has notched 641 receptions for 7,589 yards and 53 scores.
Olsen's impact as both a blocker and receiver will be impossible for the Panthers to replicate. Rookie Ian Thomas is next on the depth chart.
"I think he's pretty well-prepared," Rivera said Monday of Thomas, per Brendan Marks of the Charlotte Observer. "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."
Nonetheless, for a Panthers team with playoff aspirations, the loss of Olsen after just one week is a tough pill to swallow.