Walter Payton Man of the Year finalists, Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, from left, Baltimore Ravens’ Benjamin Watson and Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen pose for a photo after Friday’s fan forum with commissioner Roger Goodell in Minneapolis, site of Super Bowl LII. The winner will be announced Saturday night. Matt Slocum AP
Walter Payton Man of the Year finalists, Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, from left, Baltimore Ravens’ Benjamin Watson and Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen pose for a photo after Friday’s fan forum with commissioner Roger Goodell in Minneapolis, site of Super Bowl LII. The winner will be announced Saturday night. Matt Slocum AP

Carolina Panthers

Greg Olsen, Man of the Year finalist, talks Norv Turner, Super Bowl and his health

February 02, 2018 08:14 PM

MINNEAPOLIS

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen dealt with pain in his right foot most of the season, but the good news is he doesn’t expect to need a second surgery.

Olsen missed most of the season after sustaining a Jones fracture, a break between the base and middle part of the fifth metatarsal. Olsen returned from injured reserve in November, and was able to finish the season after an initial setback.

Several high-profile players – including Julian Edelman and Dez Bryant – required additional surgeries after returning from Jones fractures.

But Olsen doesn’t believe that will be necessary.

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“I think I’m going to be OK. We don’t have any plans for anything like that now. I feel pretty good,” Olsen said Friday. “Doctors are happy with how everything’s gone. I’m excited to start my offseason training here in the next week or two and hit the ground.”

Olsen is a finalist for the NFL’s Man of the Year award for the second season in a row. He and the other finalists – Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson – participated in a fan forum with commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday in downtown Minneapolis.

The winner will be announced Saturday night during the NFL Honors program.

Olsen and his wife, Kara, started the HEARTest Yard Fund in 2013 after their son T.J. was born with a congenital heart defect. Olsen was a runner-up to co-winners Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning last year.

Carolina Panthers' Greg Olsen, a Walter Payton Man of the Year finalist, will be part of ESPN’s pregame show Sunday for Super Bowl LII.
Matt Slocum AP

“It’s very humbling and just a great honor,” Olsen said of being a finalist again. “I’m just happy to be here and experience this week and all the fun things that come with it.”

Olsen, who will be part of ESPN’s pregame show Sunday, spoke with Observer on a couple of other topics, including:

▪ New offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s scheme:

“It’s very similar schematically – plays, terminology (to what the Panthers ran under Mike Shula). Every play-caller has their own style, the things that they like. We’ll see what his twist is. We’ll see as we start in OTA.”

▪ The Super Bowl LII matchup between New England and Philadelphia:

“I think Philly’s defense is going to have to play as well as they have all year, which they’ve played as good as anybody. If they can keep it to a low, mid-20s game, I think offensively they can do enough against New England to pull it out. But if it gets into a shootout or if it’s tight there at the end, it’s hard to bet against (Tom) Brady in these situations.”

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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