Carolina Panthers

Panthers injury updates: A big step for TE Greg Olsen, progress for Curtis Samuel

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) returned to the practice fields on Wednesday, and he did more than just coach tight end Ian Thomas (80).
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) returned to the practice fields on Wednesday, and he did more than just coach tight end Ian Thomas (80). dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Carolina Panthers veteran tight end Greg Olsen returned to the practice fields on Wednesday, working on the side with athletic trainers.

Olsen, who refractured his right foot in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, has opted to not have surgery midseason surgery, saying in a statement he intends to rehabilitate his foot and try to rejoin his teammates “as early as possible.”

Wednesday, he took a step in that direction by not wearing a boot and going through slower-paced mobility exercises.

“That’s all part of the rehab program,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “I’m not sure what it means or where he’s headed. We’ve got a number of guys right now who are going through their process and doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And again, we’ll get a little update tomorrow on how everybody feels.”

Starting right guard Trai Turner missed Sunday’s game against Atlanta while in the concussion protocol. He worked on the side with athletic trainers on Wednesday, which is a step in the protocol.

Rookie starting cornerback Donte Jackson left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. He told the Observer afterward that he just “strained it” and felt that he’d likely be ready to play against Cincinnati this week.

Jackson worked on the side with athletic trainers on Wednesday. His injury on Wednesday’s report was listed as a “groin.”

Receiver Damiere Byrd missed a week of practice and Sunday’s game with a knee injury, but practiced Wednesday in a limited capacity.

Safety Da’Norris Searcy left the Atlanta game and entered the concussion protocol for the second time in five weeks. He was not on the field Wednesday.

Receiver Curtis Samuel, who reportedly had a heart procedure to fix an irregular heartbeat in the first week of the season, did not practice on Wednesday. But Rivera said Samuel has done some workouts with trainers.

“That’s pretty much where he is,” said Rivera, who like the team has not confirmed that Samuel had a heart procedure. “He has felt good, though, so that’s one of the nice things about talking with him.

“Everything looks promising, but we’ll see. He’s still got to see the doctors and we are going to follow exactly what we are told.”

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071; @jourdanrodrigue
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