Greg Olsen joked that injured players in the NFL are “out of sight, out of mind.”
But that hasn’t been the case for the Carolina Panthers’ Pro Bowl tight end.
Olsen has been around Bank of America Stadium a lot since breaking his foot in a Week 2 victory over Buffalo. He’s progressing well since his Sept. 18 surgery, and believes he’s on track to resume practicing when he’s eligible to do so the week of Nov. 6.
“The big step now is to get out of the (protective) boot,” Olsen said Wednesday. “But to be only three weeks and be in the boot walking with no crutches has been a good step. So just keep going and hopefully in a couple weeks be able to get back out on the field.”
The Panthers hope to activate Olsen from IR, and the earliest he could play would be the Nov. 26 game against the Jets. Olsen said he’s been lifting in the weight room and doing work in the pool in the hopes of getting back this season.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said. “You can’t just lay around all day and then say, ‘All right, the bone’s healed,’ and then get up and go play tight end in the NFL.”
In the interim, Olsen has watched the past two games from his couch, where he had a high-definition look at backup tight end Ed Dickson’s career day last weekend at Detroit. Dickson caught five passes for 175 yards – the 10th-most in team history – against the Lions, prompting Olsen to tweet that Dickson had a “decent game.”
Olsen praised Dickson’s play, saying the Panthers are lucky to have a No. 2 tight end with his skill set.
“Since he’s been here, every time we’ve thrown him the ball, he’s been open, he’s caught it. Everything we’ve asked him to do, he’s always done it. So I don’t think guys are surprised,” Olsen said.
“Ed is a starting caliber tight end in the NFL. You look around the league, you can’t tell me there’s 32 better players at the position than Ed.”