• 77°

Panthers’ Olsen has foot surgery; recovery time uncertain

CHARLOTTE (AP) — The Panthers struggling offense will have to find a way to replace its leading receiver in each of the last four seasons.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera says tight end Greg Olsen had surgery Monday to repair a broken right foot.

Rivera wouldn’t speculate on how long Olsen will be out. However, the 32-year-old tight end said after Carolina’s 9-3 win over the Bills on Sunday that he expected to miss several weeks.

Olsen has never missed a game due to injury in 11 seasons.

The injury occurred while Olsen was running a route and felt something pop in his foot. He wanted to go back in the game but quickly realized something was not right. He was taken to the locker room where he later emerged on crutches.

Olsen has led the Panthers in receptions the past four years and is coming off three straight 1,000-yard seasons.

Rivera said who picks up the slack on offense is to be determined.

“Quite honestly, we’ll see,” Rivera said. “It just depends on who they try to take away and, quite honestly for us, who steps up.”

Rivera said he’s confident that Ed Dickson, the team’s backup tight end, can help the passing game. The coach likes third-stringer Chris Manhertz too, although he wouldn’t rule out adding another tight end to the roster.

Dickson has two catches for 26 yards this season, but has never been a big part of Carolina’s passing game. Over the past three seasons with the Panthers he has 37 combined catches for 370 yards and three touchdowns.

He did catch a career-high 54 passes for 528 yards and five TDs for the Baltimore Ravens in 2011.

“We’re not going to change the offense because Greg is out,” Rivera said. “We’re going to do the things that we do. These are the things that we have been practicing on. I think one of the worst things you can do now is say we have to change all of the stuff we have put in. Ed is more than capable. He has that kind of ability and we as a coaching staff have to stick with what we do.”

Given the way Olsen likes to work the middle of the field, more balls could be headed to wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and rookie running back Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield. It’s likely wide receivers Curtis Samuel and Russell Shepard could see a few more balls thrown their way, too.

Quarterback Cam Newton said Sunday the team will miss Olsen, but expressed optimism that he won’t be lost for the season.

“Granted, Greg is an extremely key artery for our team, as well as this offense, but Ed (Dickson) is ready to blossom,” Newton said. “He’s a diamond in the rough. I don’t want to put too much on Ed, but he’s be making plays for us – very subtle over the years. That’s why he’s been somewhat of our unsung hero over the years and hopefully, not hopefully, we are going to be expecting big things for him and knowing he’s going to pick the gun up and keep shooting.”

The Panthers have only scored two touchdowns and six field goals in their first two games with Newton overthrowing two open receivers for would-be touchdown passes. One of those was Dickson in the season opener at San Francisco.

Shepard said it’s time for everyone to step up in Olsen’s absence.

“He has 3,000 yards over the last three years, so that goes somewhere,” Shepard said. “Offensively we need to make up for it. We need to come together. We need some more production from our receivers and tight ends.”



Salisbury man faces drug possession charges after overdose call


Police: Man charged after children call 911 from neighbor’s house

Ask Us

Ask Us: Who are people behind sign at City Park playground?


Prison in Salisbury latest site of COVID-19 outbreak


Blotter: Salisbury Man charged with felony assault by strangulation


Trump vows quick Supreme Court vote, Biden urges delay for Nov. 3


New rule may strip pollution protections from popular lakes

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day


In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising


From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community


In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help


Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system


School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures


Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice


Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch


Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand


UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors


Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat


Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19


Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods


NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes


Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting


Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court


County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%