Report: Titans Feel Derrick Henry Will Return on 'Early Side' of Injury Timetable

Erin WalshDecember 9, 2021

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 24: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans against the Kansas City Chiefs at Nissan Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans believe star running back Derrick Henry will return from foot surgery "on the early side" of his recovery timeline, per ESPN's Dianna Russini.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Nov. 1 that Henry would be out for six to 10 weeks. However, he noted six weeks would be "quite fast" and that a return after eight weeks seemed more likely. 

Henry underwent foot surgery Nov. 2. Russini previously reported, "there is optimism that [Henry] will be back early January."

Getting him back before the playoffs would be ideal for the Titans, who are in the running for the top spot in the AFC with an 8-4 record entering their Week 13 bye.

Last week, Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said Henry has been diligent in his recovery process and "is working hard to do everything he can to get back." Tennessee's running backs coach Tony Dews added the 27-year-old is in "good spirits" and is "working hard" throughout his rehab. 

Henry had been the best running back in the NFL before suffering the foot ailment. Through eight games, the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year rushed for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns on 219 carries, in addition to catching 18 passes for 154 yards on 20 targets. 

Even though he hasn't played since Week 8, he ranks third in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

In addition to Henry, the Titans are without wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, who are on injured reserve. Brown is dealing with chest, rib and hand ailments suffered in a 22-13 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 11. Jones has been struggling with a hamstring issue. 

Jones is eligible to return in Week 14, while Brown can return later this month. 

If the Titans have their top trio of offensive weapons available for the postseason, they should be one of the most difficult teams to play against in the AFC.