Greg Olsen hoping he doesn't 'mess it up' in return to rolling Panthers

From ESPN - November 15, 2017

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen sat on a couch next to his wife, Kara, at Levine Children's Hospital, where on Tuesday night they unveiled their support of a cardiac neurodevelopmental program to help families of children with a congenital heart defect like the one their son T.J. was born with five years ago.

As Kara checked her makeup and hair for the interview, Greg chimed in: "You look great ... let's do it."

Greg has spent more time on the couch than he dreamed possible the past eight weeks, recovering from a broken foot suffered during a Week 2 win against Buffalo.

He spent some of that time planning Tuesday's announcement that will give the children's hospital, through the support of his foundation and the HEARTest Yard fund, the ability to fully help families in the situation he and Kara initially faced with T.J.

It's the culmination of a five-year dream.

But now Olsen is ready to get back to football.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection is scheduled to come off injured reserve after the upcoming bye weekend and be ready for the Nov. 26 game against the New York Jets.

The return ca not come early enough for Kara, who jokingly began suggesting in the second week of rehab that her husband go help coach their sons' soccer team.

"I just hope I do not get in the way," Olsen joked, reminding that Carolina (7-3) is coming off an impressive 45-21 victory over Miami on Monday night. "I hope I do not mess it up. When you come off Monday Night Football and score 45 points, now you get thrown into the mix all you can do is make it worse."

Quarterback Cam Newton ca not wait to have Olsen back. As the two returned to the locker room after a win against Atlanta two weeks ago, the 2015 NFL MVP put his arm around his favorite tight end and stared into the camera filming the moment.

"Just wait 'til I get my dawg back!" Newton shouted. "Just wait 'til I get my dawg back!"

The Panthers are just starting to find their rhythm offensively, posting a franchise-record 548 yards against the Dolphins. Newton is just starting to get back the swagger he had in 2015 when he threw a career-best 35 touchdowns and ran for 10 more.

Now he gets back his security blanket, the first tight end in NFL history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2014-2016).

"We are going to be even more dangerous," said tight end Ed Dickson, who has filled in for Olsen.

The Panthers are going to be more dangerous in large part because Dickson has emerged as a receiving threat in the absence of Olsen.

Dickson did not have a catch in the first game, but had two catches for 26 yards against the Bills after Olsen was hurt.

Three weeks later, he had five catches for 175 yards in a win at Detroit. On Monday against Miami he had three catches for 33 yards and a touchdown.

In the eight games Olsen missed Dickson had 23 catches for 356 yards and a touchdown. He had only 10 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown all of last season.

"It will be interesting to see how that all unfolds," coach Ron Rivera said. "I am like you guys. I am interested to see it."


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