The Panthers are shutting down QB Cam Newton for the rest of the season, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. It's a smart move by Carolina. Newton's shoulder has obviously become a bigger problem over the past few weeks, and the Panthers are all but eliminated from the playoff picture. We'll see if Newton needs another surgery on that shoulder or if some rest will get him back to 100%. His absence will leave Taylor Heinicke as Carolina's starter for the last 2 weeks. Undrafted out of Old Dominion back in 2015, Heinicke has attempted just 5 regular-season NFL passes. He's not a Week 16 fantasy option and is a downgrade for all of Carolina's skill-position guys. RB Christian McCaffrey is the only reliable fantasy play on the team.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen told reporters after Sunday's loss that he ruptured the plantar fascia in his right foot and expects to miss the rest of the season. This is the same foot that Olsen has broken twice over the past 2 seasons, and he believes the latest injury was a result of trying to compensate for those previous breaks. Olsen's absence will leave Ian Thomas as Carolina's lead pass-catching TE the rest of the way. In the 3 games Olsen missed earlier this year, Thomas totaled 8 catches on 14 targets. He'll be a low-end spot-start option moving forward.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen is out for the rest of Sunday's game against the Bucs with a right foot injury. That's the same foot he's broken twice over the past 2 seasons. Olsen's 2018 campaign might be very well be over. That'd leave rookie Ian Thomas as Carolina's lead TE.
The Panthers announced that TE Greg Olsen re-broke his right foot and is considered "month-to-month," although he surprisingly isn't having surgery. Olsen missed 9 total games with the same injury last year -- 8 to start and then 1 more after aggravating the issue. Expect him to be out at least that long this time around. Olsen is droppable in redraft leagues. His absence leaves 4th-round rookie Ian Thomas as Carolina's primary pass-catching TE. The Indiana product boasts a 91st percentile SPARQ score and posted a 3-37-1 line this preseason. He's worth an add in TE-premium leagues like the FFPC. WR Devin Funchess and RB Christian McCaffrey should also see more targets with Olsen sidelined.
The Panthers selected Indiana TE Ian Thomas with the 1st pick of the 4th round. Thomas didn’t put up big numbers in a mediocre Hoosiers passing game, but he did average 15.0 yards per catch and score on 5 of his 25 grabs this past season. Thomas also tested as a 91st percentile athlete. We see a little Charles Clay in his game. In Carolina, Thomas will sit behind Greg Olsen in the short term. Olsen just signed a 2-year extension but is 33 years old now. Thomas has a shot to be his successor and is worth a look late in dynasty rookie drafts.