Chris Herndon using lost 2019 season as “learning experience”

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The Jets came into the 2019 season with high hopes for tight end Chris Herndon‘s continued development as a target for quarterback Sam Darnold, but Herndon fell well short of reaching them.

Herndon was suspended for four games to start the year for a substance abuse policy violation and then hurt his hamstring as he started working his way back into action. He finally got on the field in Week 10, but hurt his rib and missed the rest of the season while on injured reserve.

Time has healed Herndon’s wounds and he says that spending the year as an observer allowed him to grow in other ways.

“It wasn’t ideal how everything played out,” Herndon said, via the team’s website. “I wish it could’ve gone the opposite way, but for me, it was definitely a year where I was forced to sit down and really just learn. [I] use it as a learning experience — how quick one injury, one decision, how fast things can be taken from you. Also, just learn to appreciate those things because like they say, you never know how much you miss something until it’s gone. It was a big learning year for me, but I’m ready.”

The Jets added wide receivers Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims this offseason in hopes of setting Darnold up for greater success in his third season. A healthy and productive Herndon would provide a further boost to that effort.