Every car that Derrick Henry has carried on his shoulder since 2019 finally caught up with him. The Titans running back suffered a foot injury during Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season that left him unconscious for the long term.
Henry suffered the injury at some point during the first quarter against the Colts, although it is unclear on which play it occurred. He was seen limping on the touchline without the shoe, but returned to the game. He played 74 percent of the Titans’ plays, a number roughly on par with his season average, and there wasn’t much talk of his departure from the game.
However, there was a high level of concern for Henry the next morning. He had an MRI scan and once the results came in, it was revealed that Tennessee would be without him for quite some time.
Henry led the NFL in runs, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in 2019 and 2020. He was on track to do it again in 2021 and had a chance to become the first player to post consecutive 2,000-yard seasons. That is not possible anymore.
That said, your season may not be over yet.
Here’s everything you need to know about Henry’s injury and what it means to the Titans.
How long will Derrick Henry be gone?
Initial reports indicated that Henry would miss the remainder of the season for the Titans after undergoing surgery to repair his broken foot. However, coach Mike Vrabel seemed to believe that Henry would have a chance to return this year.
“We are not going to set a timetable on when he can return,” Vrabel told reporters. “I know that he will do everything he can to recover, to be able to help this football team. When that happens, it will be like that.
“I know he will be close to our team as soon as he can. I know that is important to him. I know it will be important to our team. We will have to move on without him here in the short term and not look back.”
After, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Henry’s recovery timeline will likely be 6-10 weeks. That meant he would have a chance to return for a possible Titans playoff run, as he could return in Week 14 if he met the minimum ending of that timeline and in Week 18 in the maximum ending.
It seems like Henry is on his way to return sometime around Week 18, as Rapoport reported on December 12.
Sources say the All-Pro champion’s rushing rehab is going so well that Henry is in line to return to the playoffs if Tennessee comes, or potentially in Week 18 if the Titans face a win-and-go situation. The team was optimistic that he would be back in play after fifth metatarsal surgery on November 2, and reports on his progress have reinforced that good feeling.
Before week 18, Vrabel said that Henry’s three-week practice window could open “midweek” after he did some practice work, according to Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network. That said, the team “has no plans” to play Henry in Week 18. He could be back for the Divisional Round of the playoffs if the Titans retain the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
As such, it will be necessary to keep a close eye on Henry’s status as the playoffs roll in. He’s not guaranteed to return, but it looks like he’ll have a chance to give the Titans a big boost if things turn out to be in his favor.
What is Derrick Henry’s injury?
Henry suffered a broken foot in the Titans’ 34-31 win over the Colts. The fifth metatarsal of the foot was broken. The injury is known as a Jones fracture and will keep Henry out for 6 to 10 weeks.
It is unclear exactly when Henry was injured. It was in the early stages of the Titans’ victory, as he cautiously left the field in the first quarter and was seen limping on the Tennessee touchline without the studs. He would return to the game, but he only had 68 rushing yards on 28 carries.
Timeline of Derrick Henry’s injury
: Henry suffers an apparent foot injury against the Colts. He returns to the game, but accumulates 68 rushing yards on 28 carries for a season low of 2.4 yards per carry.
: After the game, it is revealed that Henry will have an MRI to see his foot injury on Monday. Not much is said about these reports.
: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Henry’s season could be in jeopardy as a result of his foot injury.
Titans running back Derrick Henry suffered a season-ending foot injury during Sunday’s 34-31 win over Indianapolis, sources told ESPN. Henry will undergo an MRI today to determine the full extent of the damage.
– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2021
: Reports are circulating that the Titans will resolve veteran running back Adrian Peterson in Henry’s absence. They only have one healthy running back, Jeremy McNichols, on their roster.
: Mike Vrabel confirms that Henry will be sidelined for not giving an update on his schedule report. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that it will be roughly 6-10 weeks, so Henry will have a chance to come back if he doesn’t suffer a setback or it takes longer than expected to heal.
– November 1st: Henry is placed in IR by the Titans. This is no surprise considering that you will miss six weeks of action, at the very least. He’s technically eligible to come back after three games on IR.
: The Titans officially sign Adrian Peterson and D’Onta Foreman to the practice team.
: Rapoport reports that Henry will have a chance to return if the Titans make the playoffs or face a win-win scenario in Week 18.
: Mike Vrabel says Henry’s practice window could open before Week 18. He won’t play in that contest as the Titans have the AFC South closed, but he could return for the Divisional Round if the Titans win No. 1 seed. Once activated, Henry will have a maximum of three weeks to practice before rejoining the 53-man roster. If he can’t get back in shape in three weeks, his season would be over.