NFL

Titans running back Derrick Henry will have possible season-ending foot surgery

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

Tennesse Titans head coach Mike Vrabel revealed Monday that running back Derrick Henry will have foot surgery on Tuesday morning. The injury will cause Henry to miss six to ten weeks, meaning it could be season-ending. This is a crushing blow to a Titans team who’s coming off an overtime victory over the Colts.

So far this season, Henry has been on a tear. In eight games played, he has ran for 937 yards and has scored 10 touchdowns on the ground. He’s leading the league in rushing by almost 400 yards and has willed the Titans to a 6-2 record. Henry also has carried the ball 219 times in eight games. The next closest is Bengals running back Joe Mixon, who has 137.

Because of the load Henry has carried up to this point, he has gained a lot over NFL MVP buzz over the past few weeks. However, this injury has ended those talks as he will miss significant time, robbing him of that opportunity to be the first running back to win MVP since Adrian Peterson in 2012.

Henry isn’t the only star offensive player to be struck by injury. Wide receiver Julio Jones has been dealing with a hamstring injury that has caused him to miss multiple games.

Where do the Titans go from here?

The Titans are currently first place in the AFC South at 6-2. Their win over the Colts on Halloween put them three games up on Indianapolis. Despite the injury to Henry, the Titans are in an excellent position to win the division and make the playoffs. On the other hand, they don’t have a replacement for the NFL’s leading rusher.

Backup running back Jeremy McNichols is unproven, only garnering seven carries so far this season. The Titans have also signed veteran running back Adrian Peterson, hoping he has some gas left in the tank. The NFL trade deadline is also on the same day that Henry will have surgery, so the Titans may look for trade options to fill Henry’s huge void.

However the Titans decide to “replace” Derrick Henry, they won’t replicate his production. Henry is a generational talent that can’t be recreated. The Titans will most likely have to rely on a committee and foster more pressure on their pass game that has been up and down this season.

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