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Chargers holding out hope Hunter Henry could return

Hunter Henry's torn ACL will probably keep him out for all of 2018.

Probably is not definitely, though. In the words of Lloyd Christmas, "so you're saying there's a chance?"

For that reason, the Chargers elected to avoid placing Henry on injured reserve, instead placing him on the physically unable to perform list. The move preserves the very slight chance Henry returns from injury faster than expected, which will only matter if the Chargers are still playing come January. Henry tore his ACL in practice on May 22.

"That's a normal transaction to do since his injury happened before training camp," Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said, per the team's official site. "But, it does give us the small opportunity that if his rehab comes along very, very well, late in the year he could possibly come back to play. Now, the odds are much more that he'll play next year and not this year, we know that. But, we figured let's keep the window open if we can."

Better to keep it open than unnecessarily slam it shut. If anything, it gives Henry a tangible target to work toward in a rehab process that is long, arduous and often frustrating.

"I think it's great for him. He has that little carrot at the end that maybe, maybe he could play," Telesco said. "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. But the opportunity was there and we (did) it so we'll see where it goes, but that would be way, way down the road."

Los Angeles wasn't required to place Henry on IR, and doing so wouldn't magically accelerate his recovery and rehab. Whether that matters in January, we'll have to wait and see.

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