Randy Smith: Titans May Have Derrick Henry Back For Playoffs

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Titans fans don't get too excited just yet but on Tuesday of this week, star running back Derrick Henry passed the first hurdle for his return to the lineup for the AFC Playoffs. In practice, defensive players "banged" into Henry trying to replicate what it would be like if he played on Saturday against the Bengals. Later this week, he will be more involved in practice sessions and head coach Mike Vrabel will make the final decision. "It's been a while since he has had contact," Vrabel said. "We will have a week of work, see how he feels, and make a decision."

Henry suffered a fractured foot on Nov. 1, in a game against the Indianapolis Colts and has been on the Titans injured reserve list.
At the time, Henry was the NFL's leading rusher with 937 yards through eight weeks of the season. That total is still sixth in the NFL despite Henry missing nine games. The former Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama has been the top running back in the NFL for several seasons, and when he went down with the fractured foot, a lot of people wrote the Titans off. As it turned out, the team regrouped and wound up being the top seed in the AFC. And now with his possible return, the Titans could be even stronger as they look to make just their second trip ever to the Super Bowl.

For most of their 23 years in Tennessee, the Titans have been just a little bit more than mediocre. They have seldom been really good, but rarely ever been really bad either. Since Mike Vrabel took over as the 19th head coach in franchise history in 2018, the Titans have made the post-season three straight seasons under Vrabel and barely missed making the playoffs in his first season when the team finished 9-7. Derrick Henry has played a huge part in that success, being the dominant running back in the league at a time when teams are throwing the ball all over the field.

Since Vrabel began his run in Nashville, the team has gained a lot of fans, though you might call some of them "band wagon" fans. Even though it's been more than two decades of fun at Nissan Stadium the team has fans throughout Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi among other Southern states. The fan base is growing after all these years and that's exactly what winning does for you. People will pay to see a really good product and that's what the Titans have. A great team that's fun to watch and pull for. Here's hoping that the Cincinnati Bengals don't prove to be too much on Saturday and if Derrick Henry does indeed return to the lineup this weekend, they'll be even more fun to watch.  

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Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com

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