Ian Thomas Fantasy Football News 2020

The Panthers and TE Greg Olsen announced that they're "mutually parting ways." Olsen has spent the past 9 seasons in Carolina. But he turns 35 in March and has missed 18 games over the last 3 years. Releasing Olsen will save the Panthers $8.1 million against the cap and leave TE Ian Thomas with a big opportunity to capture the starting job. We'll see if Olsen wants to continue his NFL career -- and then how much interest he garners on the open market. Fox Sports has said that they're ready to hire him as an analyst as soon as he retires.

The Panthers have named Joe Brady their new OC. It's been a rapid rise for the 30-year-old, who spent 2017 and 2018 as an offensive assistant under Sean Payton in New Orleans and this past year as LSU's passing game coordinator. Brady won the 2019 Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in college football and was given a lot of credit for QB Joe Burrow's massive 5,671-yard, 60-TD campaign. It's an exciting -- albeit risky -- hire by the Panthers.

The Panthers are hiring Matt Rhule as their new HC, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reports. Rhule has been a hot name in coaching circles after he led a 1-11 Baylor team in his first season to a combined 18-9 record over the past 2 years. He spent 4 seasons as Temple's HC prior to that and also has 1 year of experience as the Giants' assistant offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin. Rhule's Baylor squads ranked 25th, 19th and 43rd in the nation in passing yards per game.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen said Monday that he's cleared the concussion protocol. Barring a setback, he'll return for this weekend's game against the Colts. Olsen should step back in as Carolina's lead pass-catching TE and will be a low-end fantasy starter for Week 16.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) is out for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. He returned to limited practices this week but remains in the protocol. That means another game as lead TE for Ian Thomas, who posted a 5-57-1 line on 10 targets with Olsen out last week. Thomas is a viable TE1 for Week 15.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) was limited again on Thursday and remains in the concussion protocol, HC Ron Rivera said. We'll see how much progress he's able to make over the next 48 hours. Ian Thomas will be in the TE1 mix if Olsen misses Sunday's game against the Seahawks.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) returned to a limited practice on Wednesday. That gives him a shot to get full clearance ahead of this weekend's game against the Seahawks. We'll get another update tomorrow. Olsen's return would take TE Ian Thomas out of spot-start consideration.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) is out for Sunday's game against the Falcons. He didn't practice all week and isn't a lock to return for Week 15. Ian Thomas will serve as Carolina's lead TE this weekend. He averaged 5.3 targets, 3.9 catches and 35.5 yards in the 9 games Olsen either missed or left early last year.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen (concussion) remained sidelined for Thursday's practice. He's not going to play against the Falcons this weekend, making TE Ian Thomas a spot-start option. Thomas averaged 3.9 catches and 35.5 yards in the 9 games Olsen either missed or left early last season.

Panthers HC Ron Rivera confirmed after Sunday's loss to the Redskins that TE Greg Olsen is in the concussion protocol. It's his 3rd documented concussion. We'll track Olsen's progress this coming week, but consider him no better than 50/50 for Week 14. Olsen's absence would leave lead TE duties to Ian Thomas, who averaged 3.9 catches and 35.5 yards in the 9 games Olsen missed all of most of last season.

Panthers TE Greg Olsen (back) is listed as questionable for Thursday night's game against the Bucs. He didn't practice at all this week but said Tuesday that he "plans" to play. We'll find out his official status around 7 pm ET on Thursday. If Olsen can't go, TE Ian Thomas will be an intriguing spot starter. He racked up 27 targets, 20 catches, 200 yards and 2 TDs over last season's final 4 games, with Olsen sidelined.

Update: Olsen was listed as a full participant on Wednesday, so expect him to play.

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.

 
 
 

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