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Greg Olsen on IR, expected to miss about 6 games due to broken right foot

Olsen suffered a broken right foot against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2, but he should be back after six games.

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen broke his right foot in a Week 2 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Olsen was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, but he could return.

Olsen had surgery Monday morning. per Chris Mortensen. Olsen’s recovery is expected to take about six weeks, and per the NFL’s rules, he could return from IR in eight weeks.

The Panthers promoted rookie fullback Alex Armah to the active roster spot left vacant by moving Olsen to injured reserve.

What happened?

Olsen broke his right foot in the first half against the Bills. When the Panthers came out of the tunnel to start the second half, Olsen was walking with crutches and sporting a walking boot. Carolina shortly announced that its star tight end would not return to the game, which the Panthers won 9-3. Olsen finished the game with one catch for 10 yards.

"It's tough for something like that to just happen,” Olsen said after the game. “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."

Why does this injury matter?

The Panthers are going to miss Olsen's presence on the field. Olsen, a three-time Pro Bowler, is Cam Newton's go-to target on third down and in the red zone. He can line up in the slot, out wide, and line up along the offensive line to block. Olsen is an all-around tight end who can do anything on the field.

Now, the Panthers will have to depend on Ed Dickson to step in for Olsen. Dickson, 30, isn't a prolific tight end like Olsen, but he can occasionally make plays in the passing game and block. Dickson has 150 catches, 1,574 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns in his career.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera thinks that Dickson can help fill the void:

The Panthers could also place receiver Devin Funchess at tight end, too. He played tight end at Michigan and filled in as a rotational player for Olsen in the past.