Speculation about Olsen (foot) leaving the Panthers to work on Monday Night Football is unfounded, Joe Person of The Athletic reports. On a similar note, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports that two sources close to Olsen said he remains focused on playing for the Panthers in 2019. The 34-year-old tight end could still change his mind if he's disappointed with his rehab from December surgery, but it sounds like that's a long shot at this stage. The recent speculation about a job on Monday Night Football seems to have been sparked by Jason Witten's decision to leave ESPN and rejoin the Cowboys.
Coach Ron Rivera said Olsen (foot) would like to play next season, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports. Prior to enduring Jones fractures in his right foot in both of the past years, Olsen was a figure of health in his first 10 seasons, missing just two games overall. The injuries came on the heels of three consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns from 2014 through 2016. His average line during that stretch was 80-1,062-5 on 125 targets, so if he ultimately attains renewed health, he could be a valuable asset in what would be his age-34 season in the fall. Olsen is under contract through 2020.
Olsen (foot) said his mindset is to focus on rehab so he can play football in 2019, but he doesn't want to shut the door on any potential opportunities in broadcasting, Joe Person of The Athletic reports. Olsen auditioned for a job with ESPN last March, then signed a two-year, $17.1 million extension (through 2020) in April. Coming off a second straight season marred by his problematic right foot, the veteran tight end has made multiple comments suggesting he plans to play another year. He could still change his mind if the rehab from December surgery doesn't go well, but it does seem he truly wants to play. Olsen will turn 34 in March and is believed to be facing a rehab timeline of 3-to-4 months. He should be healthy for training camp, if not for part of the offseason program.
Olsen (foot) expects to resume his playing career in 2019, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Charlotte Observer reports. "I still enjoy playing and I still know I can play," Olsen said Wednesday. Recently, Olsen underwent surgery on his right foot for the second time in as many seasons. The first one -- which came in September 2017 and required the insertion of a screw -- was more or less a quick fix, but multiple aggravations ensued this season. The second procedure involved the replacement of the screw and included a bone graft, which Olsen told Rodrigue typically has a high success rate. According to Rodrigue, this surgery has historically "fixed [the Jones fracture] for good" in other players. While Olsen faces 3-to-4 months of rehabilitation, he should be at full strength next fall for his 13th season, assuming he doesn't change his mind about playing.
Coach Ron Rivera said Friday that he expects Olsen (foot) to play football in 2019, David Newton of ESPN.com reports. Olsen will turn 34 in March and is eventually expected to have a career in broadcasting, but it sounds like the Panthers expect him back for at least one more season. He recently had surgery to address a ruptured plantar fascia in his problematic right foot. Olsen may not be ready for the team's offseason program, but he should have enough time to finish up the rehab process before training camp opens.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/08||Los Angeles Rams||23||7.89|
|2||09/13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.88|
|6||10/13||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||22||7.88|
|8||10/27||@San Francisco 49ers||4||4.75|
|10||11/10||@Green Bay Packers||8||5.50|
|12||11/24||@New Orleans Saints||14||6.22|
|17||12/29||New Orleans Saints||14||6.22|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||68||41||518||3||28||12.63||69|