Derrick Henry’s Season-Altering Return Could Give the Titans a Shot in the Arm in the Crowded AFC Playoff Picture

The Tennessee Titans are looking for a return to form this season in the crowded AFC playoff picture. Derrick Henry’s dominant performance last week could give them that shot and more.

The Tennessee Titans have had an up and down season, but one player has been their shining star: running back Derrick Henry. Henry has returned from a torn ACL in time to give the team a shot at the playoffs. Read more in detail here: nfl standings playoffs.

After a convincing win against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14, the Tennessee Titans climbed to 9-4. Mike Vrabel’s team has shown tenacity all season, particularly after losing its best player. Derrick Henry, the All-Pro running back, has a realistic chance of returning for a playoff run. The remainder of the AFC might be in peril if the rumors are true.

Derrick Henry is expected to return in time for the playoffs.

Titans RB Derrick Henry leaves the tunnel before a game

Titans RB Derrick Henry leaves the tunnel before a game Tennessee Titans’ Derrick Henry enters the field before their game against the Kansas City Chiefs | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans might be receiving a much-needed offensive boost, according to reports.

Derrick Henry is expected to return for the playoffs if Tennessee makes it, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. The Titans are on track to make the playoffs, so this news comes just in time.

In the Week 8 win against the Indianapolis Colts, Henry fractured his foot. The organization anticipated that the two-time Pro Bowler would miss the remainder of the season, but hoped that he may return before the season’s conclusion.

According to Rapoport, Henry has made considerable progress in his rehabilitation.

“It takes 11 weeks from the original injury to Super Wild Card Weekend,” Rapoport added. “If Henry returns the week before the regular season’s last game, it will be ten weeks.” This injury is expected to take six to ten weeks to heal. As a result, he could return sooner.”

Henry’s offseason exercise routine is impeccable, so his comeback would be unsurprising.

The Titans are still in first place in the AFC South.

The Tennessee Titans improved to 9-4 on the season with their victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Tennessee would be the AFC’s 2-seed if the playoffs concluded tonight.

Mike Vrabel, the head coach, is in charge of a physically and psychologically demanding football squad. Given his time with the New England Patriots, you shouldn’t expect anything less. His team has overcome hardship and is still towards the top of the league.

The Titans have suffered with injuries to wide outs A.J. Brown and Julio Jones in addition to Derrick Henry. At various moments throughout the season, the offense has been without its three most important playmakers, making life more difficult for quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

This group has managed to stay afloat in the face of adversity. The Titans’ continued success may be attributed to their refusal to panic. Vrabel and his team stayed true to themselves. This is a squad that like to run. Tannehill letting it all hang out throughout the game is a recipe for catastrophe.

With Henry out of the lineup, Tennessee is at 3-2. It has a four-game run to wrap off the regular season that is quite winnable (Steelers, 49ers, Dolphins, Texans).

If Henry returns, the Titans have a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed, which would make them exceedingly dangerous.

Tennessee would be re-established as a viable AFC contender under Henry.

Derrick Henry, regardless of position, may be the most dominating player in the NFL. The Tennessee Titans are in good shape for the playoffs, and they’d be much better if their most important player returned.

When Henry was injured in Week 8, he was leading the league in running yards (937) and touchdowns (14). (10). Despite missing five games, he is still fourth in both categories. That’s incredible, and it just goes to show how powerful he is.

In Henry’s absence, the Titans have gone with a committee method. Mike Vrabel would love to have the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year back, and D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard have done a great job replacing it.

In 2021, the Alabama product was on his way to smashing even more records. A deep playoff run, on the other hand, would almost certainly mean a lot more to him.

No one will want to see this club in the playoffs if Henry returns to full vigor. With the powerful running back wearing down opponents all game, the offense is difficult to stop. He’s constructed like a machine and is at his finest in the late stages of games. The defense of Tennessee has also improved, resulting in a more balanced effort.

There’s no assurance Derrick Henry will regain his form and resume his normal workload. But if he does, everyone should be on the lookout.

Pro Football Reference provided all stats. 

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