‘He can make us a better football team’

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been a trending topic the last two days, and surprisingly enough, it wasn’t because of Tim Tebow. Instead, it was due to teams believing they were open to trading 2020 ninth overall pick CJ Henderson, who is one of the youngest players and has a lot of upside.

This report, which came from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, came as many hurdles have gotten in the way of getting Henderson prepared for the 2021 season. After starting in eight games as a rookie, he was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury after Week 10’s game against the Green Bay Packers. He wasn’t able to return for the rest of the season and eventually had labrum surgery, which limited his offseason activities.

Then when he finally was able to return for training camp, he had to be placed on Reserve/COVID-19 missing the first eight actives before briefly returning for Day 9 and missing Day 10 for personal reasons. However, on Tuesday (the team had Monday off), Henderson returned to the practice field, and despite the trade rumors that have surfaced, assistant head coach Charlie Strong expressed how excited he was to see Henderson back.

“It is good [to see him back],” Strong said. “He’s a really good player and the thing about it is we know this; he can make us a lot better football team. Just to see him get around us and get out on the field and go to work was really exciting.”

Henderson is a player with a lot of potential, and with him, the Jags’ secondary could be a very respectable unit if he improves in his second year. And while the team could go into 2021 with Shaquill Griffin, Tyson Campbell, and Sidney Jones IV as their top-3 corners and succeed, having Henderson (if focused and committed) only gives the group a better chance.

If Henderson can avoid any setbacks from this point on, he has a chance to head into the regular season and be a valuable contributor — if not a starter. The team has yet to take the field for their preseason game, and for that reason, Strong said he’s confident that Henderson can be ready before the Jags’ Week 1 trip to Houston.

“I think that we still have enough time here because we’re a month still out from playing our first game,” said Strong when asked if the time Henderson missed will hurt him. “I know we have these preseason games, and they will always be good to get him back so he can get out there and run around. But just knowing that he can get back and that we can just teach him the defense and he can learn it, because we’re doing a lot on defense and that’ll be good for him to get back and just go through the whole learning process. Even if he can’t come out to practice, just being in the classroom really helps.”

If he’s going to be a part of the Jags’ roster, the next three weeks will be important for Henderson. However, if more issues pop up that prevent him from taking the field, or the team has a hard time motivating him, maybe a trade might be the best option for both parties.

Leave a Comment