Almost three months after fracturing his foot, Derrick Henry is finally back. With Saturday’s divisional round playoff game against the Bengals looming, the Titans‘ star running back has been activated from injured reserve, and is expected to start against Cincinnati.
Designated to return from IR on Jan. 5, Henry had less than a week to be activated to the team’s 53-man roster, or else he would’ve been ineligible to return this season. The former Offensive Player of the Year practiced all week in the lead-up to the Bengals game, and while coach Mike Vrabel preached patience regarding the running back’s return to full contact, Henry himself told reporters in recent days that he’s ready to go.
“I’m happy to be back,” Henry said, via the Titans’ official website. “You definitely appreciate this game a lot more when you are away from it, being away from teammates and just having that camaraderie and going to work every day and playing on Sundays each and every week. I definitely missed that.”
Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said this week that the Titans will monitor Henry’s progress during the game to determine the extent of his role as Tennessee looks to advance to the AFC Championship. Reserve backs D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard, who each had 100-yard games filling in for Henry this season, are both expected to remain in the mix against the Bengals.
Before landing on IR with his foot injury, the 28-year-old Henry led the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns, finishing the 2021 regular season with 937 yards and 10 scores in just eight games. The year prior, Henry became just the eighth player in league history to eclipse 2,000 yards on the ground.