Carolina Panthers TE Ed Dickson enjoys breakout performance in absence of Greg Olsen

By Keith Dunlap, The Sports Xchange  |  Oct. 8, 2017 at 7:04 PM
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DETROIT -- For one game anyway, Ed Dickson did his best impression of Greg Olsen.

After Olsen, Carolina's Pro-Bowl tight end, was placed on injured reserve with a broken bone in his foot on Sept. 19, opportunity arrived knocking on Dickson's door because he became Carolina's top receiving threat at tight end.

Dickson certainly answered that knocking sound of opportunity in a resounding way on Sunday in a 27-24 win at Detroit.

Dickson entered the game with six receptions for 96 yards for the entire season through four games, but he came out of nowhere to have a career game against the Lions, catching five passes for 175 yards.

Just how improbable was Dixon's performance?

Dickson entered the game with receiving seasons of 115, 121 and 134 yards in his first three years in Carolina, but he finished six yards short of Olsen's franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end in a game and 39 yards short of the NFL record held by Shannon Sharpe.

"I know he is proud of me, but I am just holding it down for him," Dickson said of Olsen. "We need him. Hopefully, he gets healthy really soon and is out there with me working together."

Dickson had two big plays in the first half, and both set up scores for the Panthers.

In the first quarter, Dickson hauled in a pass from quarterback Cam Newton just past midfield and ran all the way down to the 4-yard line before being tackled.

That reception set up a 22-yard field goal by Graham Gano that tied the game at 3-3 with 3:51 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter with Carolina facing a third-and-1 from its own 34-yard line, Dickson found himself wide open on a bootleg play, caught a pass from Newton and took the ball down to the Detroit 9-yard line.

Two plays later, Carolina tied the game at 10-10 with 11:04 remaining in the second quarter on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Newton to running back Christian McCaffrey.

"I have been waiting for Ed to emerge," Carolina wideout Devin Funchess said.

Olsen isn't eligible to come off injured reserve until Nov. 26, so look for Dickson to continue serving as an important target for Newton in the coming weeks.

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