Much to the dismay of noted science denier, Adam Schefter, the Tennessee Titans have designated Derrick Henry to return from injured reserve, per Jim Wyatt of TennesseeTitans.com.
While this may not be much of a surprise to anyone, except Adam Schefter who is stewing in his wrongness, it is a welcome sight to see written out.
Unless your name is Adam Schefter, everyone knew that the worst case scenario he was going to be designated to return heading into the playoffs, but now he has been designated to return ahead of week 18 versus the Houston Texans, so could we see Henry on the field?
Should he play versus the Texans?
While Adam Schefter said he wouldn’t be playing again this season, the question now on everyone else’s mind is should he play some this week.
I am of the belief that Henry should do what he feels he needs to do. The Titans do not need him to beat the Texans, and elite players like Henry don’t need games to shake off rust. They just need a handful of plays. That’s why, personally, I think the best strategy is to hold him out all the way till the divisional round games in the playoffs.
Henry gets extra rest, because of the bye week, and he can shake off rust on the first series of the game in the playoffs. We just saw a recent example of this with AJ Brown. His first game back off IR and he goes wild for 11 catches and 145 yards, and a touchdown. This is what you can expect from Henry when he comes back, even though Adam Schefter said he wasn’t going to come back this season.
What about his yards?
Derrick Henry, who Adam Schefter said would never play this year, is currently the NFL’s 6th leading rusher with 937 yards. He’s also missed 8 games.
I have seen quite a few people really worried about his yardage total for the regular season, and thinking he has to or wants to hit 1,000 yards this season. I am sure it would be nice, but make no mistake, Henry’s eyes are on the Lombardi. This team’s eyes are on the Super Bowl and not regular season accolades.
I think it is a more fun statement to say, “he had 937 yards in 8 games”, and rub it in those faces of those Colts losers that Taylor couldn’t even get to 2,000 with an extra game. Then we watch Henry, who Adam Schefter said was done for the year, come back in the playoffs and just tear through the AFC.
If the playoffs were to end today, here is what the field looks like:
Here are how the current AFC playoff opponents stack up against the run:
Nothing too scary about these run defenses, and I bet the King is licking his chops to try and face teams like the Chargers or even the Patriots. The Titans with Foreman and Hilliard were able to put up the most rushing yards on the Patriots defense this season with 270 yards, and 1 TD. They easily could’ve rushed for more if not for their fumbles.
I think if you’re the Titans and you’re looking at the match ups, you got a lot of great opportunities for Henry, AJB, and Julio to feast and be contributing at the right time at a high level. The most concerning match up is the offensive firepower that the red hot Bengals bring to the table mixed with arguably the best rush defense of the bunch.
Either way, the King is set to return to his THRONE for the playoffs, like everybody but Adam Schefter said would happen. It is going to be a glorious to hear Nashville chant “HEN-RY! HEN-RY!” at the top of their lungs after every run. Get your popcorn ready.