Chargers tight end Hunter Henry will spend today's game watching, his miraculous return from ACL surgery put on hold for at least a week. Henry was not activated Saturday before the deadline so he's not on the active roster, but he is likely to be activated before the final deadline on Monday if Los Angeles advances.
"He's doing really well, but after conversations with our medical people, the decision was made to hold him out and it's just week-to-week from here," Chargers general manager Tom Telesco told NFL.com on Saturday night.
"I want every doctor to be 100 percent. He's perfect. He'll be ready to roll. He's not quite there yet. He hasn't had any setbacks. It's just, seeing where he is, we figured it was best to hold him back."
Playing in the playoffs has always been the goal for Henry, though it must've seemed like ages away when he suffered the non-contact injury. That served as the carrot at the end of the stick as he attacked his rehab.
"Our people who administer the ACL rehab protocol were great, but some of it is just the effort you put into it," Telesco said. "I think it helped him knowing there was a chance he can play this year and that drives him. That's a motivating factor. He really wanted to be part of this and when it happened, we told him, we'll do our part to make the playoffs."
Whenever he plays, he'll be a weapon. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder had 45 catches for 579 yards last season, appearing on the verge of breaking out. When he's back, he'll help.
The Chargers have had this happen when pass-rusher Melvin Ingram tore his ACL in May and came back late in the 2014 season. It was incredible then, it would be incredible now. Henry is getting there. The tight end did his part, but it's just a little too soon. Consider, he only started practicing in mid-December. He went through every day of practice this week, practicing fully and going through all drills and 7-on-7. But they weren't in pads.
"The fact that it happened so early in the calendar gives him a chance," Telesco said. "That was always in his head."
Assuming he's activated on Monday, the Chargers will have another decision to make. They will err on the side of caution, making sure he's ready before he plays.
"If we advance," Telesco said, "we'll see where we are."