COSTA MESA, Calif. — After he practiced for three weeks, the Los Angeles Chargers placed tight end Hunter Henry on the active roster Monday, which means he could see action in an AFC divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
To make room on the roster, the Chargers placed linebacker Jatavis Brown on season-ending injured reserve with an ankle injury.
Henry has been out since May after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee on the first day of offseason work.
Hunter had been on the physically unable to perform list since training camp. On Dec. 17, the Chargers started the 21-day practice window for Henry to return to the field; the team had until Monday to either place Henry on the active roster or on injured reserve for the rest of the season.
After being limited to individual work in his first week on the field, Henry participated in 7-on-7 and team drills last week, showing steady improvement.
Henry practiced with the starters last week, but he still has not participated in a fully padded practice.
In two NFL seasons, Henry has 81 catches for 1,057 yards and 12 touchdowns. However, it’s going to take some time for him to shake the rust off and get in football shape.
“You can’t put a player out there for an extended period of time that hasn’t played since last December,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “It would be in certain situations, probably. And he would be on a pitch count.”
Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt echoed those sentiments, saying Henry will slowly be worked into the offense.
“I think some of it is how he feels,” Whisenhunt said. “You’ll have a certain number of packages or plays that you’ll use him for, and then I think you kind of go from there.”