The New England Patriots held their ninth organized team activity on Thursday, and one of the biggest stories coming out of the session was tight end Hunter Henry’s inability to finish it as a full participant. The high-priced free agent addition left the session about halfway in due to an apparent lower leg injury.
During an 11-on-11 period, Henry and safety Adrian Colbert got tangled up, leading to the tight end hurting either his ankle or foot. He had the area in question taped, but after testing it out on the sidelines decided to stay away from the session and to finish it as a spectator rather than as a participant.
Given Henry’s injury history, him going down on Thursday was obviously a cause for concern. According to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, however, the practice-ending ailment was a “just a scare” and “nothing serious.”
That is obviously good news for both Henry and the Patriots, who had invested a three-year contract worth up to $37.5 million in him just earlier this offseason. The former second-round draft pick has time and again shown his potential while with the Los Angeles Chargers, but his inability to consistently stay healthy has limited him throughout his career.
Henry has had to deal with injuries in every on of his five seasons in the league so far, and as a result appeared in only 56 of Los Angeles’ 82 games since joining the NFL in 2016. Naturally, him going down on Thursday raised some eyebrows and might have brought back some unpleasant memories for the 26-year-old.
It remains to be seen whether or not Henry will be cleared to participate during Friday’s OTA practice or mandatory minicamp early next week, but it appears that he might have dodged a bullet nonetheless.
Henry was the only obvious injury during Thursday’s practice. The Patriots did miss some considerable talent beyond him, though: a total of 12 players were not spotted, including quarterback Cam Newton, wide receiver Nelson Agholor and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. Also not present was fellow tight end Jonnu Smith.