Greg Olsen leaves game after vicious helmet-to-helmet hit, recovering in concussion protocol


Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen was put in the concussion protocol after taking a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit during Sunday’s game against Washington. The play occurred with 3:25 left in the third quarter.

On third-and-10 with Carolina trailing by a point, Kyle Allen hit Olsen on a short pass. Olsen had room to run and started charging toward the first-down marker. About a yard or two short of the marker, Olsen took a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit from linebacker Ryan Anderson.

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The 34-year-old Olsen fumbled on the play, and may have been knocked out by the hit. After being evaluated by athletic trainers, Olsen left the game and went into concussion protocol. He was ruled out for the rest of the contest.

Anderson was ejected for the illegal hit.

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen.
Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen took a brutal hit on Sunday in their loss to the Redskins, and is recovering in concussion protocol. (AP/Mike McCarn)

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he spoke with Olsen after their 29-21 loss to Washington on Sunday and said he was doing better, but declined to provide a specific update.

“We'll see how he is once he gets out of the protocol,” Rivera said, via ESPN.

Olsen has had major injury issues the past couple seasons. He was limited to seven games in 2017 due to a foot injury, and played in just nine games last season due to a different foot issue. He had played in every game this season.

Those injuries have caused Olsen to consider life after football. Olsen wants to get into broadcasting once his playing career is over. He reportedly flirted with the idea the past few offseasons and served as an analyst in the booth during the Panthers’ bye week this year.

The severity of Olsen’s most recent injury could determine whether he wants to keep playing after this season. Olsen had been healthy up to now, but brain injuries have to be taken seriously.

Olsen was already considering retirement before the big hit. This could seal it.


Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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