Last summer, the Packers then-undrafted rookie free-agent tight end from Western Kentucky was turning heads in training camp -- both on special teams and as a run blocker on offense -- when he broke the middle finger on his left hand.
The injury forced him to wear a bulky club cast on his hand the rest of the preseason -- an encumbrance that made catching passes an adventure -- but he still played well enough that the Denver Broncos claimed him on waivers when the Packers cut him at the end of camp.
And when the Broncos cut Henry in October, the Packers quickly added him to their practice squad -- as they’d intended to do when they waived him on the final cutdown.
This year, after missing time earlier in camp with a groin injury, the 6-foot-4, 252-pound Henry was again in the mix for one of the team’s tight end openings behind Richard Rodgers and Jared Cook. Then came Thursday night’s preseason game against Oakland, when he broke the index finger on his right hand -- an injury which, once again, left him wearing a mammoth club cast and hoping he can make the team despite his rotten luck.
“It doesn’t help, but you can control what you can control,” Henry said after sitting out Monday’s practice. “This year’s been especially hard. I’ve probably missed more of camp than I’ve been able to play in. I only played in one preseason game, and that was last week. Missing more time now, it’s even harder. But it’s out of my control.”
Henry said he broke his finger during the first half when it got caught in a Raider’s facemask. He finished the game despite the injury and isn’t sure when the Packers medical staff will let him practice. He watched Monday’s session with the same black, club-style cast he wore last year.
“To face all of that last year, you’d think you wouldn’t have to do that again and come back and have to put the club back on again,” Henry said, shaking his head. “It’s on my right hand this year, which makes it a little harder because last year I still had my dominant hand [free]. But it’s something I’ve just got to push through again and get through it like I did last year.”