Carolina Panthers backup tight end Chris Manhertz will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list with the same injury that sidelined starting tight end Greg Olsen for much of the 2017 season.
Manhertz underwent surgery this summer after sustaining a Jones fracture in his left foot, general manager Marty Hurney said Tuesday. The Panthers are hopeful Manhertz, who was injured during minicamp last month, will be ready to return before the start of the regular season.
Manhertz, 26, played in all 16 regular-season games in 2017 as a blocking tight end behind Olsen and Ed Dickson, who signed with Seattle during the offseason. Olsen was limited to a career-low seven games last season after breaking his right foot during a Week 2 victory over Buffalo.
Manhertz’s injury creates an opportunity at camp for rookie Ian Thomas, a fourth-round pick from Indiana who caught 28 passes in two seasons with the Hoosiers. The only other tight ends on the roster are Evan Baylis and Jason Vander Laan.