As we reflect on Week One’s match-ups and Green Bay’s low-scoring but satisfying victory over the Seahawks, let us keep in our minds a Packer who has moved on. Mitchell Henry, a former Tight End and member of the Packers organization less than two years ago, passed away this summer at the age of 24.
Henry, an established player out of Western Kentucky, was a valuable asset to the Packers off-season and preseason team, and played regular season games for the Denver Broncos. Returning to the Packers in 2016, an injury to the hand forced him on the injury reserve and he later signed with the Baltimore Ravens after an injury settlement. The Ravens planned to resign him soon after he recovered, until Henry and his family unexpectedly noticed serious health problems relating to Mitchell’s chest. Severe pain hindered his return to the Ravens and his advancement in his young career.
After less than two season of his professional career, Henry was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He vowed to fight hard against his cancer as seen on various social media posts, including on his Twitter. His passing was met with much dismay from NFL and collegiate fans, former teammates and coaches as well as his family and friends.
Packer’s officials Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson shared their own reactions and expressed wishes to the Henry family after news broke. When McCarthy heard of the diagnosis he said that it, “Knocked all of us over. He (Henry) will definitely get support from the Green Bay Packers.” Thompson, after it was shared that Mitchell Henry had passed on, expressed his gratitude to the player and impact he had on the Packers organization.
Injuries prevented Mitchell Henry from earning a full-time roster spot on the Packers, Broncos, and Ravens, and eventually the unthinkable happened to him as he was beginning to establish himself within the Ravens organization. Just days after he was cut, and the Ravens told he would soon be re-signed; he began feeling the pain that ultimately was realized to be the beginning of a terrible fight.
Keep in mind the promising career of a Packer whose life was cut too short throughout this NFL season. The Packers are a family organization: from non-profit public ownership to the players that represent the team and interact with the fans. This summer, we lost one of these players, an invaluable family member and warrior.