Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen’s comeback was a short one Sunday.
Olsen, who missed more than two months with a broken foot, returned to the lineup for the 35-27 victory over the New York Jets, but left in the third quarter after aggravating his surgically repaired right foot.
X-rays on Olsen's foot after the game were negative, but he is scheduled for more tests Monday, a team source said.
While Sunday represented a setback for Olsen, the three-time Pro Bowler indicated it was not something that would shut him down for the season.
“I was ready to come back. I felt good. It just wasn’t quite exactly where it needed to be to play in the NFL,” Olsen said. “So live to play another week. Hopefully it’s better next week.”
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Olsen felt soreness in the first half on the artificial turf at MetLife Stadium. But Olsen wanted to test his foot again after halftime, before the training staff decided to pull him.
“It got a little sore there. Went back out, tried to play a little bit and then we just thought it’d be best to live to play another day,” he said.
Olsen was targeted four times before leaving the game. His only catch was a 10-yarder on the second play of the game.
He was open in the end zone later in the first half, but quarterback Cam Newton overthrew him.
Olsen suffered a Jones fracture in a Week 2 victory over Buffalo. A couple of high-profile NFL players – Julian Edelman and Dez Bryant – returned from the same injury within six to eight weeks, only to require additional surgeries after the season.
Rams wideout Sammy Watkins was bothered by issues related to his Jones fracture for parts of two years.
But Olsen said he didn’t “spend a lot of time worrying about or talking about” the possibility of reinjuring his foot. He also wasn’t interested in discussing if he hurt himself Sunday on a specific play.
Panthers veteran linebacker Thomas Davis also left the game in the second half after straining his hamstring while running down a ball-carrier, Rivera said.
Davis said he hopes to play next week in the NFC South showdown with the Saints.
“We’ll see. I fully expect to be able to go,” Davis said. “But time will tell.”
Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil was active for the first time in more than a month, but did not play against the Jets. Kalil, who’s been dealing with a neck issue all season, would have been used in “absolute emergency,” Rivera said.
Cornerback Daryl Worley had his left foot in a protective boot after the game.
But Olsen’s status overshadowed the Panthers’ other injury updates.
Tight end Ed Dickson said he appreciates the team’s cautious approach with Olsen, who last year became the first tight end in NFL history to post three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
“I love that they’re taking care of him because we’re going to need him down the stretch,” Dickson said. “He’s a good player. He’s a brilliant player, smart player and he can help this offense a lot. We need him to be healthy enough to go.”