Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera says there’s no need to panic regarding the status of Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen and his balky back.
Public concern about Olsen’s back has increased a bit this week as he’s missed three consecutive practices after his back tightened during Sunday’s two-hour session in Spartanburg. But Rivera said an MRI exam revealed no structural damage to Olsen’s back.
“I think the biggest thing more than anything else is he’s seen the doctor and it’s really just a big spasm,” Rivera said Thursday’s practice in Charlotte.
Olsen posted the two most prolific receiving seasons by a Panthers tight end the past two years while earning his first two Pro Bowl berths. With Olsen and No. 2 tight end Ed Dickson (groin) sidelined, the team’s young tight ends have seen increased work.
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That likely will be the case again Saturday at Tennessee, where Rivera wants quarterback Cam Newton and the first-team offense to play “three good drives” before turning the game over to the backups.
But Rivera said he has no long-terms concerns about Olsen.
“Greg’s a veteran guy and he’s seen the doctors,” Rivera added. “It’s just going to continue (with treatment) and he’ll be back on the football field.”