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Greg Olsen suffers season-ending foot injury in loss

The Carolina Panthers' treacherous trek to a potential postseason berth will have to be made without Greg Olsen on the field.

The veteran tight end said he suffered a ruptured plantar fascia during the Panthers' 24-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The injury brings Olsen's year to a premature end after a fracture in the same foot kept him out for three games earlier this season.

"It just all stems from what I've got going on and the amount of trauma that's happened to this foot over the last two seasons now," Olsen told reporters. "We did the best we could. We got the most out of it as I think we could have, and finally my foot just had enough."

Olsen wasn't the only notable player dealing with a physical ailment during the Panthers' loss. Coach Ron Rivera told reporters after the game that Cam Newton's throwing shoulder "was really sore by the end of this game." The soreness prompted Rivera to put in backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke for the final Hail Mary pass.

Olsen's injury immediately robs the Panthers of one of their most valuable weapons on offense. It's also fair to wonder what might be next for the 33-year-old beyond this season. Injuries to the same foot have limited the three-time Pro Bowler to 15 games over the last two seasons.

Carolina's fourth straight loss puts their playoff aspirations in peril. Sitting at 6-6 with two of their four remaining games against the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints, the Panthers will need to find a way to make up for Olsen's lost production to stay in the postseason chase.

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