How big of a loss is TE Greg Olsen for the Seahawks’ offense?
The Seahawks will likely be without starting tight end Greg Olsen for quite some time after the veteran ruptured the plantar fascia in his left foot in last week’s win over the Arizona Cardinals, which adds a bit of a question mark to Seattle’s offense going forward.
In his first year with the Seahawks, the 35-year-old Olsen has 23 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown. Though head coach Pete Carroll said last week that Olsen could be out just four to six weeks before returning for the end of the year or a potential playoff run, it’s not a sure thing Olsen makes it back this season.
Olsen previously ruptured the plantar fascia in his right foot in 2018, so Carroll said his familiarity with the injury may help him get on the field after just a month or so.
Whether Olsen is able to come back and play this year or not, just how big of a loss is he for the Seahawks’ offense? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus shared his thoughts Monday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant.
“I don’t see it as a huge loss. Not in the long run, like in the duration of the game,” Bumpus said. “Greg Olsen was one, put here to teach these other tight ends how to be professionals, and two, show up in the big moments. That’s where you’re going to miss him.”
Olsen’s numbers aren’t eye-popping by any means, but of his 23 catches, 15 were for first downs and one was a touchdown. Bumpus said third-down plays are a huge part of Olsen’s game and that’ll be the main spot where the Seahawks feel his absence.
“You need a guy who has been there and done that who can read a defense and who can sit in a zone and be where he’s supposed to be,” he said.
With Olsen out, that leaves Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister and rookie Colby Parkinson as the three remaining healthy and active tight ends on the Seahawks’ roster. Bumpus has faith that group can step up in Olsen’s absence, even if the team will miss having Olsen’s veteran leadership in the huddle.
“I think Dissly can do it, I think Hollister can do it and we’re still waiting to see what Colby Parkinson looks like, but there’s no substitute for experience,” he said. “Now as far as ability, I think Dissly is probably just as good as Olsen is right now and I think Hollister is better in the pass game. Hollister’s not great as a blocker, but he’s great in the pass game.”
Hollister was Seattle’s top tight end in terms of receiving last season, and after having just two catches in the Seahawks’ first five games this year, Hollister has 12 catches over his last five games. Danny O’Neil asked Bumpus if Hollister could once again be the top receiving tight end like he was in 2019 when all is said and done. Bumpus thinks so, due to reliability and trust.
“I think Jacob Hollister has bought himself another contract in this league,” he said. “He’s showing that he’s dependable. He doesn’t get many targets but most of the time he catches the football, he’s where he’s supposed to be and he’s reliable. Coaches will put you on the field if they trust you. If they trust that, you’re at least going to try and do the right thing. And him getting the football thrown to him by Russell Wilson just shows how much trust there is. He was, like I said, the third-leading receiver on this team last year. There’s some chemistry there.”