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Chargers Tight End Hunter Henry Could Make Season Debut Sunday vs. Patriots

The Los Angeles Chargers announced Monday that tight end Hunter Henry has been added to the team's active roster, making him eligible to play in Sunday's AFC Divisional Round game against the New England Patriots.

Henry tore his ACL during practice on May 22nd of last year, and it was initially believed that he would miss the entire 2018 season. The Chargers had hope that Henry would return at some point, and so the decision was made to put him on the physically unable to perform list at the start of the campaign.

The Chargers announced that linebacker Jatavis Brown was placed on the IR because of a foot injury, which made room for Henry to be activated. Thus, Los Angeles gets a huge boost as they prepare to take on the Patriots in Foxborough this Sunday.

Drafted 35th overall by the Chargers in 2016, Henry quickly developed as one of the game's top playmaking tight ends. The Arkansas product had 36 catches for 478 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie year, then followed it up with 45 catches for 579 yards and four touchdowns in 2017.

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Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Though the Chargers initially planned to move on from future Hall of Famer tight end  Antonio Gates, the decision was made to bring him back following Henry's injury. The 38-year-old Gates had 28 receptions for 333 yards and two touchdowns for the Chargers, working nicely as a security blanket once again for Philip Rivers.

The Chargers finished 12-4 in the regular season and defeated the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 in the Wild Card round. They'll look to beat the Patriots for the first time since the 2008 season.

What This Means

Henry's addition provides a huge boost to the Chargers offense, which already features big-time playmakers in Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. With Henry rejoining the team, Los Angeles has another reliable option for Rivers to distribute the ball to.

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