When Greg Olsen broke his right foot again, and the team didn’t put him on injured reserve, it seemed a pretty clear sign he was coming back soon.
And while there still isn’t a set date in mind, the Panthers tight end said last night he doesn’t think he’ll miss as many games as when he broke it the first time last year (nine).
“Yeah, I’m way ahead of the curve,” Olsen said, via David Newton of ESPN.com. “Last year at two weeks I was laying in my bed in a cast. I couldn’t do anything.
“I’m way ahead of the curve from that standpoint. It’s just a matter of seeing each week how your foot responds and just try to add a little more, a little more. What that time frame is, we’re optimistic. Hopefully, it’s sooner rather than later.”
The 33-year-old Olsen went 10 years without missing a game prior to last year’s injury, and was shocked to re-injure it in the opener against the Cowboys.
“It’s frustrating,” Olsen said. “I went eight months of never missing an OTA, minicamp, training camp, preseason, never missed a day, never was sore. Felt great. Had probably my best offseason from a production standpoint, a physical standpoint, in years.
“You step funny and catch a guy’s foot . . . it’s frustrating.”
But the fact he didn’t need (or didn’t choose to have) surgery signaled a return inside the eight-week window if he had been placed on IR. The Panthers have a bye this week before playing the Giants on Oct. 7, buying him another week of recovery.
When well, he’s one of the most dangerous weapons at his position, and became the first tight end to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons from 2014-16.