There's been a lot of adversity facing the offense over the first half of the season, but there's always been tight end Greg Olsen.
Or there had always been Olsen – until the other challenges curtailing the offense made it more difficult to keep Olsen involved.
"It's been hard on him," head coach Ron Rivera said. "Greg is a playmaker for us. We've got to get the ball in his hands."
It isn't that Olsen's level of play has slipped. It's that with everything else going on, he's had to slip into other roles as well.
"He's had to help more with the protection," Rivera said. "With the different things that we do, he's not in the route immediately, so that takes away from his visibility to the quarterback."
In the Panthers' first seven games, Olsen averaged almost six catches and was targeted more than eight times per game. In the last two games, home losses in which the offense has scored just one touchdown, Olsen has caught four passes and been targeted a total of seven times the story pointed out. Hopefully "soon" for owners means Week 10 in Philly on Monday night. The story went on to say with several starters likely to return from injury when the Panthers play again in nine days, the offense will have a shot at playing better football. It's still a good ways out, but Rivera sounded confident that starting tackle Byron Bell and guard Amini Silatolu would be back for Carolina's visit to Philadelphia for Monday Night Football.