The New England Patriots may have an injury on their hands that could impact their offense through preseason, and perhaps into the regular season.
On Monday, it was confirmed tight end Hunter Henry suffered an injury to his shoulder that could force him to miss some time, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Per a source referenced by Reiss, Henry is going to have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.
How did Hunter Henry’s Injury Occur?
According to Reiss, the injury is not believed to be serious at this time, but it is painful and there are some concerns he’ll miss some preseason action. Reiss described the situation when the injury is believed to have occurred.
Henry was engaged in a one-on-one blocking drill on Sunday in the Patriots’ full-pads practice, and that is when he appeared to injure the shoulder. He later left for the locker room with a member of the team’s medical staff.
The possibility of injury is always a threat with any player. However, during Henry’s career, they have become more of a concern.
Injuries Have Been an Issue For Henry Throughout His Career
As complete tight ends go, Henry is one of the better players at his position in the NFL. He’s known as a solid receiver who helps his team’s running game with above-average blocking off the edge. During his career, he has averaged 49 receptions, 580 receiving yards and 5.25 TDs per season.
At 26 years old, he’s still young enough to have a long-term impact on the Patriots’ roster. However, durability was the source of trepidation when he signed a three-year, $37.5 million deal with the Patriots this offseason.
Henry missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL, and he has also had kidney and concussion-related injuries during his career.
Pat’s Pulpit’s Bernd Buchmasser wrote about his concerns with Henry’s durability back in April shortly after the Patriots locked him up with $24 million guaranteed. Buchmasser wrote:
As can be seen, Henry brings a considerable injury history to the Patriots and has missed at least one game due to medical reasons in each of his five seasons as a pro. While he only suffered one major injury over the course of his career — his ACL tear during the 2018 offseason — the matter of fact is that he has appeared in only two thirds of Los Angeles’ games (56 of 82) since joining the organization in 2016. New England, however, does not seem to be overly concerned with those numbers and his comparatively sizable injury list. After all, the team did include $24 million in guarantees into his contract.
According to Draft Sharks, Henry has a durability rating of a 2 on 1-5 scale with 5 being most durable. He has a 74% chance of being injured at some point in 2021 to a point where he misses games.
These numbers are designed to give fantasy football players an idea of who to draft, but it is also proving to be spot-on as it relates to Henry’s availability. Hopefully, he can rebound without missing significant time so that he and Jonnu Smith can form the dynamic tight end 1-2 punch many envision being the backbone of the Patriots’ offense.