A week after his triumphant return from a broken foot, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen will be back on the sidelines Sunday. Olsen is inactive for Carolina's huge NFC South matchup against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
While it might seem like a setback, having a minimal chance to play a week after coming off injured reserve to catch one pass against the Jets, the team views Olsen's situation as anything but that.
Olsen did not rebreak his foot against the Jets, sources say, and X-rays were negative after the game. He was sore, perhaps from scar tissue, so the team held him out the second half last week.
Olsen also saw noted foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte this week.
On Thursday, coach Ron Rivera told NFL.com that because Olsen was sore, "we weren't going to put him out there and expose him" to further injury.
"After this game," Rivera said, "we've got four games that are just as important as this one, so we've got to make sure everybody's ready to roll."
There is no concern the issue is bigger than soreness. There is no structural damage, which his visit to Dr. Anderson confirmed.
"Dr. Anderson told him: 'Hey, you're fine. Just keep progressing, keep working, work through the soreness,'" Rivera recalled. "There's nothing there he has to work through but soreness."
Olsen practiced sparingly this week, but he was running hills on Friday. That was a good sign for his long-term prospects.
One issue is Sunday's game is on artificial turf, while the next three are on grass. Carolina expects Olsen to be ready for those.