Carolina Panthers

How realistic is Greg Olsen’s recovery timeframe? Other NFL players’ results mixed

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke his right foot on Sunday as the Panthers defeated the Buffalo Bills 9-3. The so-called Jones surgery on his foot has produced mixed results among NFL players.
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke his right foot on Sunday as the Panthers defeated the Buffalo Bills 9-3. The so-called Jones surgery on his foot has produced mixed results among NFL players. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers tight end Ed Dickson called Greg Olsen following Olsen’s foot surgery on Monday, when Olsen was resting at home and spending time with his wife and kids.

Dickson said he told the Panthers’ Pro Bowl tight end: “Tell that beautiful family don’t get used to seeing you at home.”

Both Dickson and Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday they expect Olsen to attack his rehab with the same zeal that helped him become the first tight end in NFL history to post three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

Olsen underwent surgery Monday to repair his right foot after he sustained what’s known as a Jones fracture during the second quarter of Sunday’s 9-3 victory over Buffalo.

Former team doctor Robert Anderson, a renowned foot and ankle specialist, inserted a screw in Olsen’s fifth metatarsal.

Olsen was placed on injured reserve, although he is eligible to practice after six weeks and be activated after eight weeks. Rivera said that timetable seems to fit Olsen’s recovery schedule, according to the team’s medical staff.

Greg Olsen
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) has played in 160 consecutive NFL games, but that streak will end Sunday. David T. Foster III dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Former Chargers team doctor David Chao, in an article for the San Diego Union-Tribune, cited Julian Edelman and Dez Bryant as players who returned from Jones fractures within six to eight weeks. However, Chao noted that both players underwent additional surgeries the following offseason.

Others players, such as L.A. Rams receiver Sammy Watkins, have had Jones fracture-related issues linger for parts of two years, Chao noted.

Olsen’s streak of 160 consecutive regular-season games, which dates to Week 3 of his rookie season in 2011, will end Sunday when the Panthers host the Saints.

Dickson, who has taken over for Olsen, said he has to approach it like he’s going to be the starting tight end the rest of the season.

“But knowing him, he’s going to do everything in his power (to return). He’s going to see the docs here. He’s going to see docs outside of this place,” Dickson said. “He’s going to do treatment 24 hours a day if he could.”

Rivera also talked to Olsen following his surgery Monday.

“He’s determined,” Rivera said. “We’ll see.”

The Panthers worked out three tight ends Tuesday – Jace Amaro, Gavin Escobar and Kellen Davis – before promoting fullback Alex Armah from the practice squad.

Dickson and No. 3 tight end Chris Manhertz now will take on more prominent roles with the Panthers’ offense, a process that began with Wednesday’s practice.

Dickson said it was different being on the practice field without No. 88.

“It felt kind of weird without him,” Dickson said. “I was a little sad, but I picked up the production for him.”

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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