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HomeSportsPatriots Veteran Reveals Details of His ‘Dark Days’

Patriots Veteran Reveals Details of His ‘Dark Days’


Hunter Henry

Things are looking up for the New England Patriots‘ Hunter Henry.

Henry and his wife welcomed their first child. The Patriots’ 27-year-old tight end is also enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. While he’ll head into the season finale with 45 receptions, which means he’ll probably have the third-highest total of his career in that category.

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The same might be said for his receiving yards as he’s at 517 with a game to go. Henry’s 9 TDs are already the best of his career. To top it all off, Henry has been mostly healthy.

He’s already played in 16 games and he’s healthy for the finale against the Miami Dolphins. It’s been a good year for Henry, which is a welcomed departure from some previous years Henry described as “some dark days” during a recent presser.

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Hunter Henry Talks About the Significance of Playing in Every Game This Season

Henry was asked how “significant” it has been to play in every game after missing all 16 in 2018, 4 in 2019 and another 2 in 2020?

“It means a lot, honestly,” Henry replied. “I’ve been through my struggles, definitely, in the league. You all never got to see them, I guess, because you all were here; you all probably didn’t pay attention to what was going on with me and the Chargers. But yeah, it’s very significant.”

Henry spent the first five years of his NFL career with the Chargers. He’s long been considered a favorite of Bill Belichick and one of the most well-rounded tight ends in the NFL. The injuries have always seemed to prevent him from turning the corner the last three seasons.

“You know, I’ve battled my injuries, battled a lot of things that just kept me off the field that just honestly sometimes were out of my control,” Henry continued. “They were pretty freak injuries. Stuff like a torn ACL, a broken bone, I lacerated my kidney. So I’ve been through some stuff. Some dark days. Missed a lot of games that I didn’t want to miss. That was kind of always the calling card over me – is I haven’t played a full season. So it definitely means a lot. It’s always been my goal every single year, to be out there for my guys every single week. It’s been fun to be able to do that every single week and be consistent.”

Belichick Believed in Henry

Based on his recent injury history, the Patriots signing Henry to a three-year, $37.5 million deal was perhaps a little tricky. New England does have an out after next season, but he was still guaranteed $25 million, per Spotrac.

Belichick had a vision of his team returning to some more two tight-end sets with Henry pairing with another Patriots free-agent TE acquisition Jonnu Smith.

While Smith has struggled to remain healthy and to contribute consistently, Henry has been everything the Patriots wanted and more. Along with Jones, Damien Harris, Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, no other skill-position player has had nearly the impact that Henry has in his first season in Foxborough.

Henry and the Patriots finish their 2021 season with an important final game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. With a win and an unlikely upset with the New York Jets downing the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots could still win the AFC East. Even if that doesn’t happen, the Patriots have their spot in the postseason secured and Henry’s production, consistency and availability has been key.

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