Tight end Hunter Henry is coming off injured reserve due to a minor laceration to his kidney, which happened midway in December. The injury caused him to sit for the remaining two games left in the season.
Henry is a 6-5, 250-pound tight end who finished his second season with 45 receptions for 611 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
Even if Antonio Gates decides to stay or retire, the Chargers have a plan set to where Henry will be his successor. It’s not easy to move on from a Hall-of-Fame tightend in Gates. But if it’s ever time for Henry to become the guy, that time is now.
The Chargers recently signed former Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green to a three-year deal. Green, who is primarily a blocking tight end, will work well with Henry and the system. A combination of Green, Gates (if he returns) and Henry would provide much-needed depth at the tight end position.
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The team is gearing up for a Super Bowl run and Philip Rivers is going to need his tight end to be healthy and reliable. Henry is a tough guy with a Gronk-like motor so one would assume that he can be one of the leagues best pass-catching tight ends.
However, that leaves the question; is there enough balls to go around for all the Chargers receivers? Keenan Allen is coming off his best season and now sophomore receiver Mike Williams has to get his touches as well. And let us not forget Tyrell Willams who had his best season in 2016.
Henry has the skills and intangibles to be one of the best at his position like Travis Kelce and Rob Gronkowski. Even though he doesn’t carry himself like those two guys, Henry can still make a name for himself the same way Gates did. But those are tough shoes to fill.
Overall, Henry has a chance to be around in the league for a very long time. Rivers loves tight ends so expect them both to be on one accord this upcoming season.