The Los Angeles Chargers were hoping that tight end Hunter Henry would make his season debut on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Earlier in the week, reports surfaced that Henry would be activated and be on the field for the Chargers for the first time since tearing his ACL back in May. Instead, that’s not going to be the case.
Instead, the Chargers have decided to leave Henry on the PUP list, determining he’s just not ready to play in a game.
It’s a tough blow for the Chargers who grew optimistic after Henry practiced with the team earlier in the week. He definitely could have made the offense more diverse, something that could have been key against the Baltimore Ravens and their stingy defense.
Instead, the team will have to turn to Antonio Gates and Virgil Green, who have combined for 47 catches this season, at tight end.
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Henry would have opened up the passing game and perhaps draw coverage away from Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. He could have also added support in the running game as he is a far superior blocker than Gates.
It’s disappointing that Henry won’t be available for this game but at the same time, it’s hard to criticize the Chargers taking a cautious approach with their young tight end. With a win over the Ravens, Henry could be re-evaluated and perhaps be on the field in the divisional round.
The Chargers need someone aside from Allen to step up and make plays in the passing game. In the matchup with the Ravens in Week 16, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and Mike Williams combined to catch three passes in the game.
The team’s leading receiver that night? Backup running back Justin Jackson.