Chargers TE Hunter Henry runs with knee brace four months after ACL tear

OCRegister 11 days ago

COSTA MESA — Hunter Henry probably won’t play an NFL game this year. But given how the Chargers tight end looked on the field Friday, it can be hard not to imagine the possibilities.

The former second-round pick tore his right ACL less than four months ago, suffering the injury on a routine non-contact play during the first day of organized team activities. He had knee surgery a week later, and soon returned to the sideline on crutches. Eventually, he began going through light workouts while his teammates practiced.

Sign up for Home Turf and get exclusive stories every SoCal sports fan must read, sent daily. Subscribe here.

On Friday morning, he took another step forward in his recovery, sprinting with a large brace protecting his right knee.

“He looked real good,” Coach Anthony Lynn said. “He did some start-and-stop stuff, a little bit of change of direction. It’s just so soon. It was amazing how he looked today. … He’s been doing some stuff on the side all along, but today, he kind of took it to another level.”

The Chargers (0-1) aren’t going to rush Henry back into action, not if there’s even a slight chance of aggravating an injury that requires at least six months of recovery — a timeline that very often stretches to nine or 12 months. But they also left the door slightly ajar for his return earlier this month, placing him on the physically unable to perform list rather than on injured reserve.

The PUP designation means that Henry must sit out the first six weeks of the season, but without counting against the Chargers’ 53-man roster limit. The team then has several more weeks to decide whether or not he can begin practicing.

“The odds are much more that he’ll play next year and not this year, we know that,” General Manager Tom Telesco told the Chargers’ website early last week. “But, we figured let’s keep the window open if we can. I think it’s great for him. He has that little carrot at the end that maybe, maybe he could play.

“But we’ll be very, very smart with it. Everything would have to perfectly line up. We would never jeopardize Hunter’s long-term prospect with doing something now.”

Watching Henry sprint untouched on the practice field isn’t the same as asking him to expose himself to hits from 250-pound linebackers. Even though the tight end currently appears to be recovering ahead of schedule, it’s difficult to predict how his knee may react to increased activity in coming weeks and months.

One of Henry’s teammates represents a best-case scenario. Pass rusher Melvin Ingram tore his left ACL in May 2013, but returned to practice before that Thanksgiving. He made his regular-season debut on Dec. 8 and played in six games, including a pair of postseason appearances.

Might Henry have a chance to do the same?

“It’s hard to think about something way that far down the road when I’m just trying to win Sunday in Buffalo,” Lynn said.

INJURY REPORT

Already ruled out for Sunday’s kickoff in Buffalo, defensive end Joey Bosa was wearing cast underneath his walking boot on Friday to protect the bone bruise in his left foot. At least two other Chargers will be sidelined against the Bills: starting right tackle Joe Barksdale (knee) and reserve cornerback Craig Mager (hamstring), neither of whom practiced this week.

Travis Benjamin is questionable to play due to a sore Achilles, but Lynn was “very optimistic” that the 5-foot-10, 175-pound receiver will suit up at New Era Field. Benjamin only caught one of five passes thrown his way in Week 1, with one of his drops costing the Chargers a touchdown in a 38-28 loss to Kansas City.

If Benjamin can’t play, the Chargers would likely activate receiver Geremy Davis, who appeared in two games last season but did not catch a pass. They could also promote second-year pro Andre Patton from the practice squad.


Tags: chargers
Source link
Read also:
CNN Incident 12 days ago
A Tulsa man has died in prison seven months into serving a life sentence for killing his Lebanese neighbor in what prosecutors said was a hate...
USA Today 12 days ago
The water sent to the island after Hurricane Maria was undrinkable after sitting for months on an unused runway.  
The Telegraph Incident 12 days ago
Manchester City have been left bemused after Merseyside Police revealed they had failed to make a single arrest more than five months after City’s...
UPI.com Sports 12 days ago
Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn acknowledged that defensive end Joey Bosa could face a lengthy absence due to his injured left foot.
The Sun Incident 12 days ago
A BRIDE set on fire just three months before her wedding said the scars made her big day even more special. Marga Abejo-Momper, 30, suffered...
USA Today Sports 12 days ago
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t expected to practice for a second straight day, instead continuing to work on rehabbing his sprained knee.  
The Sun 12 days ago
KATIE Waissel has split from her boyfriend Andy Speer - less than two months after giving birth to their son. The ex-Celebrity Big Brother star, 32...
The Sun Sports 12 days ago
CHARLY MUSONDA has returned to Chelsea and could be facing months on the sidelines after being injured playing for loan club Vitesse Arnhem. The...
NDTV News 12 days ago
What's the future of Henry Cavill's Superman? (Courtesy Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment)Warner Bros. reportedly is parting ways with its present Man of...
The Sun 12 days ago
REPORTS are claiming that Superman and Batman as we know them might be about to change. So, has Henry Cavill quit Superman, is Ben Affleck no longer...
One click to connect
Select a social network to associate your account