Hunter Henry has supplanted Antonio Gates in San Diego

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When the Chargers drafted tight end Hunter Henry in the second round of this year’s draft, they hoped he could eventually succeed Antonio Gates. But they may not have expected it to happen so soon.

After last night’s win over the Broncos, there’s little doubt that Henry, the rookie, is the Chargers’ top tight end, while Gates, one of the best tight ends in NFL history, is No. 2.

Henry played 45 offensive snaps while Gates played 31. Henry caught six passes for 83 yards and scored the Chargers’ only touchdown, while Gates had two catches for 16 yards. So far this season Henry has 310 receiving yards. Gates has 81 receiving yards.

After the win over the Broncos, quarterback Philip Rivers gushed about Henry, although he was careful not to make it sound like Gates is being pushed aside.

“He’s awesome, and he’s going to be an awesome tight end,” Rivers said of Henry. “I’m very thankful. He has a long way to go obviously to even say this about him and Antonio. They’re different but I’m thankful, as we transition Antonio – as long as he’s going to be here, hopefully a long time – but to have a guy like Hunter coming in, I knew he was going to be good, but I didn’t — gosh, he’s a heck of a player. He understands the game and he’s a complete [tight end]. I would describe him as a football player. That’s the ultimate compliment my dad would say, if he called somebody a football player and I’m kind of that way, too. He’s just a football player and I’m so excited he’s here.”

The Chargers have to be very excited to have yet another talented tight end ready to step in for the one who’s heading toward retirement.

19 responses to “Hunter Henry has supplanted Antonio Gates in San Diego

  1. Rivers has a new favorite TE and who can blame him. Henry was the only receiver who could get open consistently, while Gates and Rivers were out of sync (and seemed to draw the ire of Mr Rivers after one bad misconnection). Gates was a good sport though and seemed genuinely happy for Henry when he scored.

  2. This doesn’t surprise me. I watch a lot of SEC ball and this get was getting it done on a regular basis against some of the top college defenses in the country. Reports from the combine were that some scouts were turned off by his attitude, which is the only reason I can see him falling as far as he did… but good on the Chargers for seizing the opportunity.

    He is mighty skinny for an NFL TE but if he stays healthy the Chargers should have a real nice weapon for the rest of Rivers’ career and beyond.

  3. Henry has had a good start to his rookie year. If he keeps this up, and Rivers continues to find him, he might snag a few of Elliot’s ROY votes. Not many, cause Elliot is balling, but a few.

  4. Gates is happy because he’s not having to play but still getting paid the big bucks. He knows the Bolts aren’t going anywhere. He’s just riding the Brinks truck to the bank.

  5. I want to call this guy “Double H” 🙂

    In any case, he’s much better than Gates at this point. This looks to be Gates’ final season. He had a great career, but that’s pretty much in the past tense.

  6. No surprise here. I live in Arkansas and watched him play in high school and college. Great size, speed and he can block or catch. Go Hogs.

  7. charliecharger says:
    Oct 14, 2016 9:46 AM
    Gronk went in the second round too.
    Gronkowski went in the second round because he didn’t even play college football the year he was drafted. He was hurt. He certainly would have been drafted in the top ten of the 2010 draft if he played in 2009.

  8. He stood out right away when the Chargers played the Raiders last week. Runs good routes and has good hands. Raiders have problems covering TE, and they will have to face him twice a year. They will need to address it next year either through the draft or free agency with a middle linebacker that can pass cover.

  9. the age caught up to Gates. I don’t blame him. That is just hard fact. I hope Henry can succeed him and be a franchised TE like Gates.
    Best of luck!

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