The 2018 season was basically a complete waste for Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry.
After tearing his ACL in OTAs, he missed the entire regular season. Looking for a spark against the New England Patriots in the divisional round, the Chargers decided to have Henry suit up for what would be his only game of the season. He didn’t catch a single pass in the game.
The 2018 season was supposed to be a breakout year for Henry. Instead, the Chargers had to fall back on Antonio Gates in an attempt to get something out of the tight end position in the passing game. However, what was supposed to be in 2018 could easily come in 2019 and then some.
Many fans seem frustrated that the team hasn’t added more depth at a few positions in free agency and one of those positions is at wide receiver after the departure of Tyrell Williams, who signed with the Oakland Raiders.
Fans fretting over the idea of Travis Benjamin or Geremy Davis being the team’s No.3 target in the passing game have probably forgotten about Henry. That’s understandable when a guy misses an entire season, but relying on Henry to take the load as the team’s No. 3 option in the passing game is not far fetched by any stretch.
Henry is not your typical tight end or at least he’s not like the other tight ends on the Chargers’ roster. Virgil Green is a blocking tight end and Sean Culkin will never be anything more than a No. 3 tight end on a roster. Even Gates, who is not currently on the roster, is going to be used sparingly.
But Henry is a legitimate downfield target, one who can stretch the field and take the attention of defenders with him. He has a great pair of hands and can be one of the game’s best weapons inside the red zone.
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After catching 81 passes in his first two seasons in the league, Henry has the ability to catch that many passes in one season. Perhaps this is why Tom Telesco hasn’t been going crazy looking for a guy to replace Williams.
Williams was a dangerous threat down the field but aside from being as fast as he was, Henry can easily match his production. He caught 41 passes for 653 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Henry can top those numbers in a big way and the Chargers can use Benjamin or Davis as an extra deep threat to try and catch a defense sleeping.
The development of Mike Williams as a terrific No. 2 option has been the key to making this happen. So to think that the main replacement for Tyrell Williams could be a tight end is not crazy at all.
Though the wide receiving corps appears a little thin at the moment, fear not, because Henry is going to go off in 2019.