CHARLOTTE – Week after week, victory or defeat, media gather around tight end Greg Olsen's locker for his perspective on the Panthers' latest game.
For the first time in Olsen's career, media instead crowded around for news about his injured foot – news that means he won't be providing that first-person perspective for the next few weeks.
"Broke my foot. Pretty straightforward. X-ray was pretty conclusive," Olsen said following the Panthers' 9-3 victory in their home opener against the Bills. "It's tough for something like that to just happen. Obviously it sucks, but I've been very lucky in my career to not get injured a lot. This is something that obviously will take a little bit of time, but sometimes that's just a part the game."
Olsen wasn't prepared to provide a timeframe for recovery from the injury, which happened on a non-contact play early in the second quarter. But he did acknowledge the obvious: that his streak of 159 consecutive games dating to Week 3 of his rookie season in 2007 will come to an end next week when the Saints visit Bank of America Stadium.
"Ten-plus years without having to miss a game is a good run. Unfortunately, it's come to an end," Olsen said. "It's hard to say right now. We've got to regroup with the doctors in the morning, and we'll see what the plan of attack is."
There's a chance that a broken bone could send Olsen to injured reserve. In that scenario, he'd be eligible to return to practice six weeks after going on IR and rejoin the 53-man roster eight weeks after going on IR.
"I don't know what his consecutive game total is, but it's a lot and he takes a lot of pride in it," linebacker Luke Kuechly said. "He takes a lot of pride in his body and he's going to do everything he can to get back. He'll still be around - I'm sure he'll still be very involved."
Olsen was near the end zone on the fateful route when he took what looked like an awkward step. He headed to the locker room soon after and didn't emerge again until around the start of the fourth quarter – out of uniform, in a walking boot and using crutches.
"I was just running a route. I just stepped, and I felt something in my foot," Olsen said. "I didn't touch anybody or get hit. Just my way my foot went down – it just popped.
"It's disappointing, obviously. I've always prided myself on being out there and playing, but sometimes things are out of your control."