With tight end Hunter Henry out because of a knee injury, the Los Angeles Chargers announced Tuesday they have signed veteran tight end Lance Kendricks.
To make room on the roster, the Chargers officially placed safety Adrian Phillips on injured reserve with a broken right forearm.
Phillips has 13 tackles this season after totaling 94 in 2018. He also had nine pass breakups and an interception last season, when he started seven of 16 games and also earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors as a special-teamer.
When James is healthy, Phillips primarily works as a dime linebacker in five- and six-DB packages. Jaylen Watkins played 16 snaps Sunday in relief at strong safety, and second-round rookie Nasir Adderley saw one snap after not playing on defense in Week 1. Watkins has five starts in 38 career games.
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Henry suffered a left knee tibia fracture during the season game against the Indianapolis Colts, and he will likely miss four to six weeks. He was not put on the injured reserve.
After Henry’s departure and the departure of Antonio Gates, the Chargers needed a little tighter. Kendricks should play this role by joining Virgil Green and Sean Culkin in the list.
Kendricks, 31, was signed by the New England Patriots before the 2019 season, but was suspended for the first game of the season for violating the League’s drug policy. He was later released after being reinstated. He will provide depth with Hunter Henry out injured, as the Chargers dressed only two tight ends against the Lions.
Kendricks spent 2017 and 2018 with the Green Bay Packers after six seasons with the Rams. In eight seasons, he collected 2,505 yards and 19 touchdowns. In July, Kendricks was sentenced to six months of probation following an incident in 2017 in which he had been cited for possession of marijuana during a roadside check. He has pleaded no contest and the prosecution will be dropped when he completes eight hours of community service. His suspension of one game this season was the result of the incident of 2017.
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