The first sign that IU tight end Peyton Hendershot might return to the team surfaced on Wednesday.
On a Zoom conference call Indiana head coach Tom Allen indicated that the North Salem, Ind. product has been involved with the team in a “modified way” recently.
Of course the team is not meeting live during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, but Hendershot has been allowed to participate in various virtual position and team meetings.
“We brought him back in a modified way, back with our team,” Allen said. “We continue to monitor the situation as he works through some things we don’t have any control over.”
Hendershot was suspended from the team in February after he was arrested on multiple charges in connection with a domestic incident in Bloomington. According to a Bloomington Police Report, Hendershot was booked on charges including misdemeanor domestic battery, trespass, criminal mischief and criminal conversion.
The suspension announced by IU Athletics in February banned Hendershot from “all team activities.” Today’s development signals that the 6-foot-4 and 250 pound redshirt junior tight end might have a path towards remaining with the program.
“Definitely progress, but we continue to work through the process with that with the school,” Allen said.
Hendershot earned third-team All-Big Ten honors in 2019 and set an IU receiving record for tight ends last season with 52 catches. He added 622 yards and four touchdowns. He was not with the team during their four spring practices.
Indiana would have a serious question mark at the tight end position if Hendershot does not return. The former Tri-West standout is the clear returning starter and the Hoosiers have no one behind him that has played a meaningful role at the position. Matt Bjorson, T.J. Ivy and Gary Cooper would compete for playing time if Hendershot does not return.
The legal proceedings related to the February incident are ongoing. Monroe County court records indicate Hendershot has a pretrial conference scheduled for May 6.
Allen also indicated that Hendershot continues to rehabilitate a shoulder injury suffered during the Gator Bowl.
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