The Titans are coming off their bye week and preparing to play for the first time during the 2022 NFL playoffs. They face a big question ahead of their Saturday afternoon matchup against the Bengals.
Can Derrick Henry play?
The Titans’ star running back has been out since suffering a broken foot in Tennessee’s Week 8 win over the Colts. Initial reports indicated that Henry could miss the remainder of the season as a result of the injury, but it was later revealed that he could return to action in six to 10 weeks if all went well.
A 10-week timeline would have put Henry on track to play in the team’s regular-season finale against the Texans. That didn’t quite happen, but by virtue of the Titans’ first-round bye, he got an extra two weeks to rehab and prepare to return during the playoffs.
Is Henry ready to take the field with the Titans? Here’s everything you need to know about his status ahead of the Titans’ divisional round matchup against the Bengals.
Will Derrick Henry play this week?
The Titans will decide Friday whether to activate Henry from the IR to face the Bengals, coach Mike Vrabel said Thursday after the running back participated in practice again.
“Derrick is making good progress,” Vrabel told reporters. “We’ll see and make a determination on him tomorrow. Obviously, I think his workload probably increased during the week.”
Just as important for a possible comeback, Henry practiced with protectors earlier this week and took hits from defenders for the first time since the injury.
“I think it’s a good step for him to have contact,” Vrabel said of Henry during a news conference Tuesday. “It’s been a while since he’s had contact and he’s had to do these things that come close to replicating what’s going to be asked of him.” of him at a football game.
Henry acknowledged that he felt good about his media availability on Wednesday. I wouldn’t guarantee he would be able to play, but it seemed like he was moving in the right direction.
“It all starts here on the practice field and I do everything I can to get ready for Saturday,” Henry told reporters. “That’s where it starts. I’m just trying to work hard, trying to do the best I can to be the best player I can be for this team. Trying to contribute the best I can, but the work starts here like always.” does.”
The Titans designated Henry to return from IR before their Week 18 game against the Texans. That opened up his 21-day practice window to return from IR.
Henry must be officially activated on the Titans’ 53-man roster at the end of his 21-day practice window if he wants to return during the 2022 NFL playoffs. As such, the Titans must believe he is close to playing. Otherwise, they would have postponed that action.
It sounds like Henry is really questionable for this week, but we should know more about his status — and potential workload — as Saturday’s game approaches. That said, Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing did talk about “monitoring” Henry’s workload if he plays.
“If I get the green light for Derrick to play, then we’re going to have to monitor him in the game,” Downing told reporters.
So even if Henry does play, expect to see D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard in some capacity. If he doesn’t, those two will take on most of Tennessee’s workload.
What is Derrick Henry’s injury?
Henry suffered a broken foot during the Titans’ 34-31 win over the Colts. It’s unclear exactly at what point in the game Henry was injured, but he did break the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. That type of injury is known as a Jones fracture, and it comes with a reported recovery time of six to 10 weeks.
Derrick Henry Stats 2021
Before his injury, Henry was arguably the best running back in the NFL. He was leading the league in rushing (219), rushing yards (937), and rushing touchdowns (10) at the time of the injury.
Despite missing more than half the season, Henry finished with the ninth-most rushing yards in the NFL. He led the league in rushing yards per game with a mark of 117.1. The only other player with 100+ rushing yards per game was Colts star Jonathan Taylor (106.5).
Below is a look at Henry’s stats for the 2021 season and where he ranked among other running backs:
|Statistics||Total||Range (between RB)|
|yards per carry||4.3||19|
|rushing yards per game||117.1||1st|
And here’s where he ranks in the top 10 NFL running backs of the 2021 NFL season: