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Still on track to return vs. Jets, Olsen adds second job


CHARLOTTE – When most of his teammates go on vacation during next week's bye, Greg Olsen will be working a second job. 

FOX Sports on Thursday announced it's adding the Pro Bowl tight end to its broadcast of the Rams' visit to Minnesota on Nov. 19. 

"He's going to do a tremendous job because we all know Greg Olsen loves to talk," linebacker Thomas Davis said. 

After dabbling for years in what could become his career after football, this will be the highest profile opportunity yet for Olsen. Previously, his biggest on-air audience was during the past two NFL Combines when he helped break down tight end drills.

A current player moonlighting as an analyst during a regular season game isn't unheard of, but it is rare. FOX has done it only twice (Matt Hasselbeck, 2014; Marcus Allen, 1994). For this gig, Olsen will be in a three-man booth alongside play-by-play man Kevin Burkhardt and analyst Charles Davis. 

"Those guys are professionals," Olsen said. "I can let them steer the ship and just kind of chirp in when the opportunities arise."

This opportunity started to take shape two summers ago when Olsen, who was in Los Angeles, went through a dry-run with Burkhardt. That went so well, FOX producers dialed Olsen up this summer. 

But he isn't looking to quit his day job just yet. 

"This is not something I'm looking to do in the next year or two," Olsen said. "This is something just to continue to get experience, see what I like, see what I'm good at, see what I'm not good at. Maybe I'm good at nothing.

"You don't know what the future holds. You've got to see if you're good at it first. There's a lot of guys and girls looking for these positions."

Since he brought it up, Olsen was asked how long he'd like to put off whatever post-playing career comes his way. 

"Retirement's not something that's really on my mind at this point at all," the 32-year old assured. 

"I feel like I could play a good while. Prior to getting hurt this season, if you would have asked me, I would've said I could play probably four or five more years. I don't think that's going to alter very much. I expect to come back here and be fine." 

Currently on injured reserve for the first time in his career, Olsen remains on track to miss just one more game. He continued to ramp up his work Thursday, catching a few passes on the side before running a series of wind sprints. 

"My foot feels great. I'm doing really well. I've been able to really pick up my workload this week running around and cutting and getting back into it on the side," Olsen said. "The intentions are to come back and practice like we've said all along leading up to the Jets game."

Two weeks after his hopeful return against the Jets, Olsen and the Panthers will welcome the Vikings to Bank of America Stadium. So he may not be privy to the typical intel most broadcasters get when he's working in Minneapolis. 

"I don't know how much inside info they're going to give me," Olsen said. "I don't know how many production meetings I'll be allowed in considering we play them a few weeks later."

And for a guy who "loves to talk," that may be a good thing. 

"He's just got to remember," head coach Ron Rivera said, "he can't be writing any checks that we all have to cash."

View photos from the week of practice leading up to the Panthers' game against the Dolphins.

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