Chargers tight end Jeff Cumberland will miss the entire 2016 season after tearing his Achilles in Friday’s night preseason game against the Cardinals, as Cumberland himself announced on Instagram (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune).
Cumberland, 29, agreed to a one-year, minimum salary benefit deal with San Diego earlier this year after being released by the Jets in early March. The Bolts drafted tight end Hunter Henry in the second round of the draft two months after signing Cumberland, so the veteran likely would have been relegated to quite a bit of special teams duty had he made the squad. Indeed, Chargers tight end coach John McNulty said in June that Cumberland was “still carving out” his role as he competed with Sean McGrath, Asante Cleveland, and Tim Semisch.
Always viewed as more of a blocker than a receiving threat, Cumblerand caught a total of 78 passes for the Jets from 2012 to 2014, starting 38 games for the team during that stretch and racking up 10 touchdowns. However, he saw his number called a whole lot less in 2015, as Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t use his tight ends much. Cumberland had just five receptions on 14 targets in 2015.
Cumberland wasn’t the only Charger to go down in last night’s contest, as Gehlken also reports (Twitter link) that seventh-round rookie Donovan Clark suffered a torn ACL on Friday and will be out for the season. Clark, an offensive lineman out of Michigan State, had been expected to compete for a backup role, or perhaps spend time on the practice squad.
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