Latest On Chargers TE Hayden Hurst

Hayden Hurst was sidelined for the second half of the season in 2023 due to lingering issues stemming from a concussion. The veteran tight end – now with the Chargers – has recovered, though, and he recently revealed he could have returned to the Panthers’ lineup had the team been fighting for a postseason berth.

Hurst was diagnosed with post-traumatic amnesia after seeing his one and only Carolina campaign come to an end just nine games into the year. He stated that would not be a season-ending ailment, and his most recent comments on the matter confirm a return to the Panthers could have taken place as the campaign wound down. By that point, though, Carolina was well out of contention for a playoff spot.

“I had the concussion and for a week after it was a little touch-and-go, but I went to the Mayo Clinic down in Jacksonville, got a second opinion, got [a] full clear bill of health,” the 30-year-old said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

“The only reason I sat out as long as I did was just, from the [Panthers’] front office, there was really no point. They were 2-15, or 2-13 at the time, so there was really no point in rushing back.”

At the time that decision was made, Hurst had two years remaining on his contract – a $21.75MM pact signed last offseason. As such, caution in advance of the 2025 campaign would have been reasonable given the team’s situation to close out a campaign in which head coach Frank Reich (and, on Black Monday, general manager Scott Fitterer) were dismissed. However, new general manager Dan Morgan released Hurst at the beginning of March, leaving him on the open market once again.

That set up the former first-rounder’s one-year Chargers agreement, one which will see him re-unite with offensive coordinator Greg Roman (after the pair worked together with the Ravens) and play alongside fellow tight end Will Dissly in Los Angeles’ new-look offense. Putting together a healthy campaign will help Hurst rebound from last year’s concussion while also boosting his 2025 free agent prospects.

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