Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry could return for a potential playoff run.
ESPN's Dianna Russini reported on Thursday's episode of Get Up that there remains "optimism" Henry will return from his foot injury by January:
Get Up @GetUpESPN
"There is optimism that [Derrick Henry] will be back early January. That is perfect timing for this team for playoffs to begin."<a href="https://twitter.com/diannaESPN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@diannaESPN</a> fully believes that the Tennessee Titans are the best team in the AFC.<br><br>👀 <a href="https://t.co/41FmHmvh6b">pic.twitter.com/41FmHmvh6b</a>
The 27-year-old suffered the foot injury in his team's Week 8 game against the Indianapolis Colts, although he remained in the game and helped the Titans to a 34-31 overtime win.
ESPN's Adam Schefter later reported the injury could be a season-ending Jones fracture. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network noted it could require an eight-week recovery period, potentially keeping him available for the playoffs in January.
Any missed time is still a surprise for a player who only missed two games in his first five seasons despite a huge workload in a demanding position.
Henry led the NFL in rushing attempts in both 2019 and 2020, while his 219 carries through eight weeks of 2021 were 70 more than anyone else in the league.
The Alabama product was seemingly unstoppable in this stretch, winning a pair of rushing titles while totaling 2,027 rushing yards in 2020 for one of the best seasons in NFL history.
Even with a high bar, Henry continued to reach expectations in 2021 with 937 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in eight games prior to the injury. His potential return would be a major boost to the Titans' championship hopes after an 8-2 start.