The Tennessee Titans lost their leading rusher Derrick Henry to a torn ACL, and it’s going to be difficult for them to replace him. With the NFL Draft looming in two weeks, they’ve been able to find some help by signing running back Dion Lewis from the New England Patriots. However, while there are plenty of reasons for optimism about their future with or without Henry on the field (he’ll likely miss most of next season), his injury could end up playing into what seems like a hard matchup against Kansas City in Week 1.
The “derrick henry stiff arm” is a move that Derrick Henry has been known to use. The Titans will have to find someone who can fill in for him if he is injured.
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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – The Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 34-31 on Sunday to take a three-game lead in the AFC South and the conference’s best record. As of yesterday, the Titans have a 97 percent probability of winning the division, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.
Then the unimaginable occurred.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Titans learned that running back Derrick Henry had sustained a serious foot injury. On Monday, Henry will get an MRI. Henry may require season-ending surgery on his right foot if he suffers a Jones fracture.
ESPN NFL commentator Rex Ryan remarked, “There is no player in the game that matters more to his football club than Derrick Henry.” “This is the most significant setback you may have. It elevates them to one of the top two teams in the AFC. They won’t be able to go anywhere without him.”
The injury happened in the first quarter of the game. Henry returned to the game after team trainers examined his foot, and he finished with 29 carries for 68 yards.
Despite Henry’s lack of explosiveness while carrying the football, the Titans came up short against the Colts. A.J. Brown’s 10 catches for 155 yards and a score were a big part of it.
In the Titans’ past two triumphs, Henry fell short of the 100-yard running mark. But winning will be difficult without Henry, who leads the NFL with 937 running yards and 10 touchdowns.
The Titans are 18-3 when Henry runs for 100 yards or more since 2019, and 8-10 when he doesn’t.
So far this season, Derrick Henry has accounted for 79.3 percent of the team’s running yards (937 rush yds). https://t.co/dmJ2NCNegZ pic.twitter.com/x4Pox14cBM
November 1, 2021 — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo)
Brown has grabbed 25 of quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s 29 targets for 379 yards and two scores in the last three games.
As rival defenders focused their efforts on slowing down Henry, the Titans’ passing game started to heat up, resulting in a lot of one-on-one coverage against the wide receivers. Tennessee’s play-action passing game, which is most successful when Henry is in the backfield because of the danger he poses, yielded large gains on many occasions.
Teams will be less inclined to pack the box without that danger, focusing instead on preventing the passing game.
After putting 2020 third-round selection Darrynton Evans on injured reserve, the Titans don’t have many in-house choices. Jeremy McNichols has been Henry’s main backup, although he has just 38 yards on seven attempts this season.
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The Titans might pursue the following options:
Free agent D’Onta Foreman
According to a club source, Tennessee checked out Foreman last week. At 6-foot-1, 236 pounds, Foreman has the sort of build that suits the Titans’ goal to tire defenses out with a pounding rushing assault, despite his lack of explosiveness. Last season, Foreman had 22 carries for 95 yards in five games for the Titans.
Adrian Peterson, unrestricted free agent
Veteran running back Adrian Peterson, who is slated to meet with the Titans in Nashville on Monday, may be the greatest fit for the franchise, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Adding Peterson would not necessitate giving up draft selections, and despite his age, the veteran running back is thought to be in excellent health and would provide fresh legs to the Titans.
Last season, Peterson started 10 games for the Detroit Lions, rushing for 604 yards and seven touchdowns on 156 touches.
The “derrick henry age” is a task that the Tennessee Titans will have to replace running back Derrick Henry. It won’t be an easy task, but it is one that they must take on.
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