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Titans' Derrick Henry on Workload Concerns After Injury: 'Whatever It Takes to Win'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2022

Derrick Henry (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry said he's ready to handle another heavy workload if that's what it takes for the team to remain competitive.

A foot injury limited him to eight appearances last season. It marked his first extended absence after he missed just two games over his first five NFL seasons.

The 28-year-old former University of Alabama product was asked Monday what type of role he expects in 2022.

"Whatever it takes to win," Henry told reporters. "My mindset has always been the same. If it's going to be that type of game [with a lot of carries], it's that type of game. Then go from there."

Even though the 2020 NFL Offensive Player of the Year missed over half of last season, he still ranks second in the league in carries since 2016 with 1,401. Only the Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott (1,650) has more.

Elliott has watched his production dip—4.1 yards per carry over the past two years after a 4.6 YPC figure during his first four seasons—and that's been a common trend for players who receive consistently high carry totals over the years.

Henry is one of the most physically imposing rushers in NFL history at 6'3'' and 247 pounds of seemingly pure muscle, which gives him a chance to defy the odds, but there's still injury risk linked to the high volume of touches.

The two-time Pro Bowler is confident the group of reserves behind him, which includes rookies Hassan Haskins and Julius Chestnut, will be ready to step up if needed.

"I feel like our group is solid," Henry said. "I feel like the rookies can hold their own. They come out here and practice every day. They run hard. In the film room, they pay attention and take notes. So they've been doing a good job."

Henry is still one of the top running backs heading into the new season, both in the real world and in the realm of fantasy football, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the Titans scale back his workload a little with hope it can keep him fresh and healthy all year.

That'll likely be dependent on Haskins or Dontrell Hilliard showing they can be productive when the NFL's two-time rushing champion is on the sideline, though.

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