Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) heads for a touchdown against Kansas City Chief during the AFC Wild Card game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 6, 2018.

Reports: Derrick Henry won’t be on snap count vs. Bengals

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, who is coming off a broken foot, won’t be on a snap count in Saturday’s AFC divisional round playoff game against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals, multiple outlets reported.

Henry, 28, has not played since breaking his foot on Oct. 31 during a 34-31 overtime win at the Indianapolis Colts. The Titans activated the two-time NFL rushing champion on Friday.

The 2020 All-Pro had a steel plate inserted into his foot during surgery on Nov. 2. Henry is also expected to face Cincinnati with a metal plate in his shoe, similar to those worn by players who have turf toe, NFL Network reported.

Henry was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2020, when he rushed for a league-leading 2,027 yards and 17 scores. In eight games this season, Henry ran for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns, both team bests.

After Henry won the 2015 Heisman Trophy with Alabama, the Titans selected him with 45th pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. In 86 regular-season games with Tennessee, Henry has rushed for 6,797 yards and 65 touchdowns.

In six career playoff games with the Titans, Henry has run for 670 yards and three touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs through the New England Patriots defense during the AFC Wild Card game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Jan. 4, 2020.

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Report: Titans RB Henry expected to start vs. Bengals

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry will be activated and is expected to start the AFC divisional-round game against the visiting Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday, ESPN reported.

The Titans have until 4 p.m. ET on Friday to make the move official.

Henry, 28, hasn’t played since sustaining a fractured foot on Oct. 31, but his window to be activated to the 53-man roster opened Jan. 5, giving Tennessee time to get him on the field and set benchmarks for his return. The Titans bought him additional time by clinching the top seed in playoffs and a first-round bye with a 28-25 victory over the Houston Texans on Jan. 9.

“I felt great. I just wanted to get some pads on,” said Henry, who participated in practice this week without any reported issue.

The NFL’s leading rusher at the time of his injury, Henry missed nine games but still finished ninth among running backs in rushing yards (937) this season.

D’Onta Foreman filled in with Henry out and had 566 yards on 133 carries (4.3 yards per carry). Coach Mike Vrabel said Foreman would remain involved in the game plan regardless of Henry’s game-day status.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball during warm ups against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Titans RB Derrick Henry out of finale, expected for playoffs

Three days after designating Derrick Henry for return from injured reserve, the Tennessee Titans decided not to activate the two-time Pro Bowl running back ahead of Sunday’s road game against the Houston Texans.

Despite remaining inactive, Henry began practicing this week and his 21-day window to active status leaves plenty of time for him to return to the field during the postseason.

The Titans (11-5) have already won the AFC South division crown and will clinch the AFC’s top seed along with a first-round playoff bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win at Houston (4-12).

Henry, who turned 28 on Tuesday, has not played since suffering a broken bone in his right foot during a win on Halloween against the Indianapolis Colts.

The injury cut short another standout season for Henry, who was the league’s leading rusher at the time he was hurt. He still leads the NFL with 117.1 rushing yards per game, the third straight season he has topped all of football (tied for NFL’s longest streak since the 1970 merger).

Despite playing in just eight games this season, Henry is tied for sixth in carries (219) and ranks sixth overall in rushing yards (937). He reached double digits in rushing touchdowns (10) for the fourth straight season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball during warm ups against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Titans designate RB Derrick Henry to return from IR

The Tennessee Titans designated running back Derrick Henry to return from injured reserve, clearing the way for his return to practice Wednesday.

The Titans (11-5) now have a 21-day window to activate the two-time NFL rushing champion to the 53-man roster.

Tennessee has already clinched the AFC South division title and can secure the AFC’s No. 1 playoff seed and home-field advantage with a road win Sunday against the Houston Texans (4-12).

Securing the bye week that comes with the No. 1 seed would give Henry until the weekend of Jan. 22-23 to get back into shape for the postseason.

Henry landed on IR on Nov. 1 with a broken bone in his right foot. Head coach Mike Vrabel and the Titans made their decision Wednesday after evaluating Henry’s light workout on Monday.

Henry, 28, was leading the NFL in rushing with 937 yards at the time of the injury, sustained Oct. 31 against the Indianapolis Colts. He had surgery to repair the “Jones fracture” on Nov. 2.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs through the Indianapolis Colts defense during the game at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021 in Indianapolis, Ind.

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Report: Derrick Henry (foot) ‘expected’ at Titans’ practice Wed.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, who has been on injured reserve since Nov. 1 with a broken bone in his right foot, is expected to return from injured reserve Wednesday and participate in practice, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Henry got some light work in Monday, when Titans coach Mike Vrabel said the team will consider whether to activate his window to return from injured reserve mid-week. If Henry is designated to return, he’ll have a 21-day window to return to the 53-man active roster.

Henry suffered the injury Oct. 31 (Week 8) against the Indianapolis Colts. At the time, he led the NFL in rushing with 937 yards.

Henry, 28, had surgery to repair the “Jones” fracture on Nov. 2. Since his absence, D’Onta Foreman has been the lead running back in Tennessee, piling up 497 yards.

Even with Henry’s return to practice, the two-time NFL rushing champion may not suit up for the Titans in their season finale against the Houston Texans. The Titans (11-5) have locked up their division and currently hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

They can lock up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win in Houston (4-12) Sunday, but the team may choose to rest Henry to give him an extra week off before the playoffs with a potential first-round playoff bye the next week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) looks on in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Titans RB Derrick Henry could return this week

There’s a chance the Tennessee Titans could have All-Pro running back Derrick Henry along for their playoff run.

Head coach Mike Vrabel said Henry will do some work Monday and the team will consider whether to activate his window to return from injured reserve.

“We’ve discussed it. We’ll see where it goes,” Vrabel told reporters. “We’ll probably make a decision mid-week.”

Henry, who turns 28 on Tuesday, had surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot on Nov. 2.

The two-time NFL rushing champion was leading the league with 937 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns at the time of his injury in Week 8.

Tennessee (11-5) currently holds the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Titans can clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory Sunday at the Houston Texans (4-12).

–Field Level Media

Feb 3, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year trophy and the NFL Honors trophy during media availabilities during the NFL Honors show at Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott, Derrick Henry headline Walter Payton award nominees

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry were among the 32 players announced Tuesday as nominees for the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Each team selects a player who has had a significant impact on the community through his philanthropy or other efforts. The award, to be presented during Super Bowl LVI week in February, was established in 1970 and named after the late Chicago Bears running back in 1999.

The winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice, with the 31 other nominees receiving a charitable donation of up to $40,000.

Last year’s winner was Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

The 2021 nominees:

Arizona Cardinals: Kelvin Beachum
Atlanta Falcons: Mike Davis
Baltimore Ravens: Bradley Bozeman
Buffalo Bills: Harrison Phillips
Carolina Panthers: D.J. Moore
Chicago Bears: Jimmy Graham
Cincinnati Bengals: Sam Hubbard
Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward
Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott
Denver Broncos: Justin Simmons
Detroit Lions: Jason Cabinda
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Jones
Houston Texans: Justin Reid
Indianapolis Colts: Kenny Moore II
Jacksonville Jaguars: Myles Jack
Kanas City Chiefs: Tyrann Mathieu
Las Vegas Raiders: Darren Waller
Los Angeles Chargers: Corey Linsley
Los Angeles Rams: Andrew Whitworth
Miami Dolphins: Jerome Baker
Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr
New England Patriots: Lawrence Guy
New Orleans Saints: Cameron Jordan
New York Giants: Logan Ryan
New York Jets: Quinnen Williams
Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Kelce
Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Heyward
San Francisco 49ers: Arik Armstead
Seattle Seahawks: Tyler Lockett
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans
Tennessee Titans: Derrick Henry
Washington Football Team: Jonathan Allen

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball  in the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Titans RB Derrick Henry (broken foot) could be done for season

NFL leading rusher Derrick Henry broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot and will undergo an MRI exam to determine whether the Tennessee Titans must move forward without him this season, per multiple reports.

FOX Sports reported Henry would have tests Monday that will determine whether surgery is needed or recovery is possible without an operation. If he requires surgery, Henry would likely miss 8-12 weeks.

“We’ll see where he’s at and evaluate,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Sunday, when the team didn’t make Henry available postgame due to treatment.

Non-surgical healing in a protective boot is possible depending on the displacement of the broken bone.

Henry leads the NFL in carries (219), rushing yards (937) and rushing touchdowns (10).

He injured his foot in the first quarter at Indianapolis and attempted to play through the pain, finishing the game with 29 carries for 68 yards.

Henry had 139 carries in the team’s five games in October, an excessive workload by comparison in the pass-heavy NFL.

The Titans have won four consecutive games. Tennessee outlasted the Colts in overtime to improve to 6-2 and lead the AFC South division entering Week 9. Tennessee plays at Los Angeles and the 7-1 Rams this week.

–Field Level Media

Aug 20, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) drops back to pass during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Titans defense has something to prove vs. Kyler Murray, Cardinals

If the Tennessee Titans are to become the team they aspire to be, then their defense has to make dramatic improvements from last year.

Their first chance to show they are a better team on defense occurs Sunday when they open the season by hosting the Arizona Cardinals and explosive quarterback Kyler Murray in Nashville.

“You have a lot of youth on the field, guys who are hungry and want to make an impact early on,” Tennessee linebacker Rashaan Evans said. “And then you have older guys who have been in the game and made big plays. Both of those dynamics can make you very dangerous.”

For most of 2020, the Titans’ defense was dangerous only to the health of their fans. They ranked 29th in passing yards allowed per game at 277.4, 28th in total yards allowed per game with 398.3 and 24th in points per game at 27.4.

A major reason for that was their terrible defense on third down. Opponents converted a whopping 51.9 percent on the money down, the worst in the NFL. And that required a late defensive stand to get down to that level; opponents were above 60 percent halfway through the season.

Much has been made of Tennessee’s bold trade for Atlanta wide receiver Julio Jones, but the Titans spent a lot of money to repair their defense. They gave linebacker Bud Dupree $82 million to leave Pittsburgh and shore up a putrid pass rush, then shelled out $21.5 million on defensive end Denico Autry and another $15 million on veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

As good as Tennessee’s offense should be, it will be the play of its defense that determines whether they can live out their Super Bowl dreams. The first challenge is Murray, who threw for 3,971 yards and rushed for 819 last year, accounting for 37 touchdowns and nearly leading Arizona to the playoffs in his second season.

“He is a dangerous and dynamic athlete,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said of Murray. “Not only can he run, but he can make all the throws as well. He is just a dynamic player, a guy we are going to have to contain for sure.”

Meanwhile, Murray and the Cardinals hope to show they are playoff material. They could have reached the postseason last year with a Week 17 win at the Los Angeles Rams, but Murray left with a first quarter injury and the offense fizzled in an 18-7 defeat.

One way for Arizona to do that is to make a statement on defense. The addition of J.J. Watt from the Houston Texans should immediately improve the pass rush, but it will take more than Watt to contain Tennessee’s potent running game.

The presence of Jones and fellow receiver A.J. Brown aside, Derrick Henry is the engine of the Titans offense. Henry owns consecutive NFL rushing titles for a reason. The Titans are committed to the running game, and Henry usually gets better as a game goes along.

Young Cardinals defensive linemen such as like Zach Allen, Michael Dogbe, Rashard Lawrence and Leki Fotu have no choice but to show that they can be solid pros against Tennessee.

“We are tired of being called young guys, with young-guy mistakes,” Allen said. “This is our time now.”

Arizona owns a 7-4 lead in the all-time series, including a 12-7 victory in the teams’ last meeting in December 2017.

–Field Level Media