Hunter Henry, regarded as one of the best young tight ends in the NFL, missed the entire regular season in 2018 after an unfortunate ACL tear in the preseason. The injury was just one season removed from lacerating his kidney following a hard hit from a Kansas City Chiefs defender. Fans (and Henry) are hoping their stud tight end can dominate on the field in 2019; but is there precedent for a player returning from two season-ending injuries balling out the next year? Yep: Keenan Allen.
Allen lacerated his kidney following an incredible touchdown catch against the Baltimore Ravens in 2015, missing the rest of the regular season after being placed on injured reserve. In 2016, Allen appeared in just one half of one regular season game before being lost to an ACL injury. There were concerns with his health moving forward, so much so that Tom Telesco drafted wide receiver Mike Williams in the first round the next draft. How did Allen respond?
Can Henry follow the same return to form, if not a transition to dominance, with similar injuries? For one, Henry was able to “play” in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, so there is already a level of health suggesting he’d be good to go this season. The tight end will also not be forced to be the No. target for the Chargers, which will give him time to work his way into the offense as Allen and Williams dominate as receivers. Buy low on the tight end; just don’t tell Stephen A. Smith.