Patriots kick returner Gunner Olszewski knocked out of game in first half

Grant Halverson
Gunner Olszewski (right) is in his third NFL season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Patriots punt and kick returner Gunner Olszewski was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers because of a head injury.

Early in the second quarter, Olszewski fielded Zane Gonzalez’s kickoff in the end zone and dashed to New England’s 25-yard line. At the end of the return, Olszewski withstood a hard hit from linebacker Frankie Luvu and immediately fell to the ground. He appeared woozy and stumbled as he stood up.

The Patriots initially announced Olszewski was questionable to return with a head injury before downgrading him to out.

Before exiting the game, Olszewski had returned two punts for 35 yards, giving the Patriots favorable field position. He fumbled on the second return but recovered the ball.


Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers replaced Olszewski as a punt returner, while running back Rhamondre Stevenson filled in at kick returner.

Olszewski, who earned first-team All-Pro honors last season, has averaged 13.3 yards per punt return and 23.6 yards per kick return this season.


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