Wed, 12 Aug 2020

2020 Positional Overview: Tight Ends

Chargers
09 Jul 2020, 06:36 GMT+10

Chargers.com will break down each of the team's position groups leading up to 2020 training camp. This week, it's the tight ends.

Hunter Henry

Despite missing four games due to injury, Henry set career highs in receptions (55) and yards (652) in 2019. His five receiving touchdowns placed him just behind Austin Ekeler's eight and Keenan Allen's six.

Los Angeles placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Henry in March, and he signed it in April. Entering his fifth NFL season, Henry explained the need to take on more of a leadership role in 2020.

"I'm not a big talk-in-front-of-the-team guy honestly, but I feel like there's different ways that different guys can lead," he said this offseason. "Leading by example and trying to bring the young guys along, and doing as much as I can to help this team win."

Henry's first career 100-yard performance came last season in a Week 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers - a game in which he scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The following week he caught six passes for 97 yards in a road loss to Tennessee Titans.

In Week 9, Henry's seven receptions for 84 yards (on a career high 10 targets) helped lead the Chargers to a 26-11 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

Virgil Green

Green is entering his third season with the Chargers and 10th overall in the NFL.

Used primarily as a run blocker, Green appeared in 15 games last season. He caught nine passes for 78 yards and was the recipient of Tyrod Taylor's lone touchdown pass of 2019.

Green was on the field for 36 percent of the Chargers' offensive snaps in 2019, and will likely play a key role in opening holes for Ekeler, Justin Jackson and rookie Joshua Kelley in 2020. If needed, Green has already displayed the ability to take on more responsibility.

When Henry was lost for the season in 2018, Green stepped in to start all 16 games. He played a career high 68 percent of the offensive snaps and the Chargers averaged 4.7 yards per carry (seventh in the NFL) en route to a 12-4 regular season.

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After five games in the XFL with the Dallas Renegades, the Chargers signed Parham Jr. on April 14.

Before the league stopped play due to the pandemic, Parham Jr. was tied for fourth in receptions (24), second in targets (43), third in receiving yards (307) and tied for second in touchdowns (4). At 6-foot-8, 240 pounds, he said he has the size to outmatch defensive backs and the speed to outrun linebackers - something he did routinely in the XFL.

"I just put in the work and got trust from my QBs to make big plays and they just kind of leaned on me when it came down to it," Parham Jr. said this offseason. "I really appreciated them for it."

Parham Jr., 22, went to Stetson University and spent time with Washington and Detroit last offseason.

Rounding out the room

Stephen Anderson returns to the tight ends room after appearing in one regular-season game for the Chargers in 2019. Anderson spent his first two NFL seasons with the Houston Texans, catching 36 passes for 435 yards and two touchdowns. Andrew Vollert is back after a knee injury in the 2019 preseason opener ended his year. The Weber State product previously spent time with the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals. Rookie Jared Rice is an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State. In four years with the Bulldogs, Rice had 113 receptions for 1,365 yards and 11 touchdowns.

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