Titans' Derrick Henry Out vs. Saints with Hamstring Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 22, 2019

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30:  Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans runs with  the ball against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry will not play in Sunday's matchup against the New Orleans Saints as he deals with a hamstring injury.

The Titans listed him among their inactives after ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported on Henry's status. Schefter later reported Henry is expected to return for Week 17 against the Houston Texans.

The 25-year-old (26 on Jan. 4) out of Alabama has 1,535 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns for the 8-6 Titans this season. He's rushed for 4.9 yards per carry.

The 6'3", 247-pounder had only missed one game in his four-year career, which came in 2016. A strained calf muscle kept him off the practice field during the 2019 preseason, but he returned in time for Week 1.

Henry rushed for 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns during a breakout 2018, and he dominated during his last four games thanks to 585 yards and seven scores.

The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner saved his best for a Thursday Night Football game against Jacksonville on Dec. 6, rushing for 238 yards and four scores.

He also contributed one of the year's best plays on this 99-yard rumble for a score:

Per Tucker Bagley of Sharp Football Analysis: "The Titans ran the ball 48 percent of the time in 2018, second-most in the NFL. Henry led the NFL in carries during the final three weeks of the season, and his 57 percent success rate was tops in the league as well."

Henry slowly took over the Titans backfield. In his rookie season, he backed up DeMarco Murray before the two split carries the following year.

Dion Lewis and Henry initially shared backfield duties in 2018, but the latter handled the rock down the stretch and nearly led the Titans to the playoffs before losing a win-or-go-home game versus the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17.

Without Henry, the Titans should turn to Lewis. The versatile pass-catching back has 279 scrimmage yards and a touchdown. Khari Blasingame could also see more touches.