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BSN Exclusive: Carlos Henderson sheds light on a lost summer, makes a promise to the Broncos

Ryan Koenigsberg Avatar
September 5, 2018

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — It was a long, rough offseason for Carlos Henderson.

It started in January when he was arrested in Louisiana for marijuana possession. Then, he came into OTAs and looked like a lost man, heading into the break at or near the bottom of the team’s vast wide receiver group.

After Henderson missed the last few practices of OTAs with a hamstring issue, Vance Joseph didn’t mince his words at all.

“He’s got to get back on the field if he wants to make this football team,” the head coach said, stone-faced. “If you’re not practicing, your chances of making the team are slim… to none.”

Little did he know, Henderson was about to do a whole lot of not practicing.

The day before the Broncos opened training camp, news came down that Henderson would not be there when the team began practice. As things drew on, Henderson still wasn’t there. Eventually, the former third-round pick missed the entire camp.

Then, on a Tuesday in late August, Henderson showed up at team headquarters, letting general manager John Elway know he would like to rejoin the Broncos. While he didn’t accept Henderson’s request right away, when the Broncos finalized their practice squad on Sunday—after cutting him the day before—Henderson was on it.

On Wednesday in the Broncos’ locker room, BSN Denver spoke exclusively with the second-year player about his lost summer and the second chance in front of him.

“I just had some personal problems I had to get through and deal with,” he explained of what held him out of training camp. “I got through them and dealt with them, and I’m glad to be back as a Bronco… I handled the issues I had the best way I can.”

Henderson admitted he didn’t expect Elway to bring him back, noting “I didn’t know what was going to happen,” but now that he’s here, he is going to take a different approach.

“I cherish the fact that they gave me a second chance and I promise I’m going to do it right,” he said. “I’m not gonna waste any time. I’m going to do whatever the team needs me to do to help the team. I just want to make this team better. That’s all.”

For now, what the team needs from Carlos Henderson has nothing to do with football. After all, aside from being on the practice squad, he’s not even eligible to play in Week 1, as he serves a one-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

For now, the team needs Carlos Henderson to become a man.

“I want to see Carlos grow up,” Joseph said on Tuesday. “I want to see Carlos do NFL things—have great meetings, have great practices, have great days in the weight room. Just do those things first for us. Obviously, the football player Carlos, he’s talented, so that part I don’t worry about. I want him to grow up.”

“I need to become a better pro off of the field,” Henderson admitted to BSN Denver, echoing his head coach’s sentiment. “I need to get myself situated and become a better pro. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself… Doing the right things off of the field, being a mature guy, a much more mature guy so they can trust me to make plays for them here.”

In order to accomplish that, the young wideout is doing something he probably should have done a year ago, turning to the real pros.

“Demaryius Thomas, he’s been the guy that’s been helping me a lot,” Henderson said. “Emmanuel, too. Those two guys have really been in my ear telling me, just keep focusing and everything else will take care of itself.”

From a Broncos standpoint, anything they get from Carlos Henderson from here on out is gravy. To be honest, they’ve already got their receivers of the future in Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton. For Henderson, though, this is a chance to pave the way for his career.

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