The Carolina Panthers will be missing two key starters for an indefinite amount of time, the team confirmed on Tuesday afternoon.
Tight end Greg Olsen re-fractured his right foot in the second quarter of Sunday’s 16-8 win against Dallas. He will not have surgery.
Starting right tackle Daryl Williams injured his right knee after a Cowboys player rolled up against it in the second half.
Both players left the game and did not return.
According to a league source, Williams will “likely” be placed on injured reserve. He could be one of two league-allotted players placed on injured reserve who may return after an 8-game period. Starting left tackle Matt Kalil was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury a week before Carolina’s home opener.
The Panthers hope that Olsen, 33, will be able to return later in the season and they hope to avoid putting him on injured reserve.
In 2017, Olsen suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot and missed nine games, including an 8-game stint on injured reserve. It was his first significant time out in his 10-year career. He had surgery to repair it, and did not require additional surgery after the season. He had an outstanding training camp, and looked to have a strong season after becoming the first tight end in NFL history to record three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2016.
Olsen released a statement on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon expressing his disappointment in the injury, but also optimism that he will return this year.
“We will re-examine our options this offseason in regards to my foot and our path forward,” he said. “I look forward to rejoining my teammates on the field as early as possible.”
Williams was in his first live action since tearing his MCL and dislocating his patella in the same knee during the first week of training camp. He did not have surgery after the injury, instead rehabilitating his knee through the preseason. He started at right tackle on Sunday.
The most recent injury was not related to the MCL tear and patella dislocation, a league source told the Observer on Monday. Williams had an MRI on Monday morning and then sought a second opinion, but ultimately decided on surgery.
Williams, 26, is in a contract year.
Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071; @jourdanrodrigue