Olsen sustained a broken foot during Sunday's 9-3 home-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills. The 32-year-old underwent surgery the following day and is eligible to return to the active roster after eight weeks, which would put him on schedule to play at the New York Jets on Nov. 26.
"He broke the fifth metatarsal on his right foot -- it's called a Jones fracture," head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion told the Panthers' official website. "He had a screw inserted to repair the fracture."
Rookie fullback Alex Armah was promoted to the active roster in replace of Olsen, who came out in the second half on crutches Sunday and was wearing a walking boot on the foot. Olsen made one catch for 10 yards in the first quarter.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Olsen, who is in his 11th NFL season, has been selected to the Pro Bowl three consecutive years.
Olsen, who had started 82 consecutive games, is the only tight end in NFL history with three consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more receiving yards. He had 80 catches for 1,073 yards last year and has 52 career touchdown receptions.
The Panthers added $2 million in incentives to Olsen's contract before the start of the season based on receptions, receiving yards and postseason honors.
Olsen began his career with the Chicago Bears after being a first-round pick in 2007 out of Miami. He played four seasons in Chicago before being traded to Carolina in 2011.
Ed Dickson, an eight-year veteran, has been Olsen's backup, while second-year pro Chris Manhertz is another tight end on the roster. Dickson had two catches for 26 yards against the Bills.
Armah was selected from Division II West Georgia in the sixth round of the 2017 draft. The 6-foot-2, 253-pound Armah played tight end and defensive end after being recruited as a linebacker.