Carlos Henderson isn’t eligible to return in 2017 season

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos drafted Carlos Henderson in the third round in 2017. Even if he’s healthy, he can’t return to the field in 2017…

Since we’re on a bye week, there’s not any sort of football matchup to be talking about, so we’re keeping you as updated on injured players (and whether or not they have a chance to return) as we possibly can. That continues today with a discussion about wide receiver Carlos Henderson.

Henderson, a third round pick out of Louisiana Tech, was one of the most explosive playmakers in the entire 2017 NFL Draft. In fact, no player in all of college football last season averaged more yards per touch than Henderson. He led the country in all-purpose yardage as a wide receiver, kick returner, and even a running back.

As a former running back, Henderson has an intriguing blend of size and vision after the catch. He’s tough to track down in the open field, and knows how to find a crease and make plays.

Unfortunately, because Henderson was placed on injured reserve before September 3rd, he is not eligible at all to return this season.

He suffered a thumb injury in training camp, attempted to play through it in the preseason opener against the Chicago Bears, and was eventually sidelined and placed on injured reserve with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

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According to this article on torn thumb ligaments, a safe bet for total recovery time for this type of injury is up to three months. Henderson’s ligament was surgically repaired in August, which would have potentially put his estimated return in November.

This is an unfortunate development, as the Broncos would not have ideally gone this entire season without any contribution from one of their most prized rookies. They were in an unfortunate bind, however, looking at the overall depth chart at wide receiver and not able to sacrifice at another position to keep Henderson on the roster for a couple of days like they did Shane Ray, before placing him on season-ending IR.

If you’ll remember, the Broncos curiously kept Ray on the 53-man roster despite reports that he would be going on injured reserve. They had to wait one full day after final cuts were turned in to the league office before they could place Ray on IR and hope to bring him back later in the season.

Unfortunately, we won’t see Henderson until 2018. Now you know why.