Updated: Nov 12, 2021
On Tuesday morning it was reported that star Tennessee Titan running back, Derrick Henry, who is the NFL rushing leader, will undergo surgery on his right foot after suffering the injury in Sunday’s 34-31 win in overtime in Indianapolis. Titans coach Mike Vrabel knows Henry will do everything he possibly can to return back to the Titans, who are the top team in the AFC South (6-2) and were a legit Super Bowl contender before Henry went down.
Vrabel stated, "Whenever that is, that's when it'll be, I know that he'll be around our team as soon as he can. I know that's important to him. I know that'll be important to our team. We will have to move on. We'll have to move on, unfortunately, without him here in the short term and not look back."
The Titans now will have to replace the All-Pro running back, but are fortunate enough to sign seven-time Pro-Bowler Adrian Petersen, 36, to the practice squad. Petersen who last played for the Detroit Lions in 2020 where he started in 10 games and played in all 16 that season, tallying 604 yards and seven touchdowns on 3.9 yards per carry in addition to catching 12 passes for 101 yards.
The Titans are getting a running back in Petersen, who was arguably football's best running back in his prime with the Minnesota Vikings, where he was also named All-Pro seven times in 10 seasons along with his seven Pro Bowl selections. He was the NFL MVP in 2012, led the league in rushing three times, and has 14,820 yards rushing for his career.
Henry, who was the 2020 AP Offensive Player of the Year, didn’t talk to reporters after the game. He leads the NFL with 937 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Henry became the eighth man in NFL history to run for at least 2,000 yards last season, with 2,027 yards on a career-high 378 carries. The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner and two-time Pro Bowl running back had a combined 386 carries in the 2019 season and playoffs.
Henry is the biggest reason why the Titans own the AFC’s best record, who are coming off their fourth consecutive win. Can Adrian Petersen continue to show defy his age and be an impactful running back for the Titans? Or will the Titans free fall in the AFC in Henry’s absence? Only time will tell.