In regards to Derrick Henry’s drop in carries, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Wednesday in his media session that the move has been by design to make sure that the bell cow back isn't overworked.
Henry, who averaged just over 27 carries in the Titans first three games this season is now averaging slightly under 20 carries a game in the six games since then.
But with the Titans in a cluster of teams that stand 6-3 and facing one of those Sunday in Baltimore, the Titans may have to go back more into heavy-use mode for Henry.
The Titans rode Henry for 30 carries and 195 yards in a divisional playoff win over the Ravens last January. That marked the third straight game in the 2019 season that Henry had gone over 30 carries in a game. This season, Henry started at such a pace again in 2020, but Tannehill said it was important for the Titans to scale that back a bit.
“That’s been by design. He started the season off with a really high rate of carries per game and something that’s probably going to be unsustainable as you get deep into this year or deep in his career,” Tannehill said. “We wanted to take some stuff off his plate there and give some other guys an opportunity to make some plays. Derrick’s going to continue to be a huge part of our offense and the workhorse that he is. It’s been by design to keep his carries to a manageable level, a level where he can still go out and make plays for us and get into a rhythm but not to where he’s getting 40 carries a game and it’s not a sustainable amount of reps.”
Those who back up and/or spell Henry, who has 201 carries in nine games, have been getting nominal work. Jeremy McNichols has 26 carries this season, while D’Onta Foreman has 17. Darrynton Evans, just designated for return from IR, had five carries before he was shelved by a hamstring injury. Senorise Perry had two carries. He was just added back to the 53-man roster on Tuesday.
Though cornerback Adoree’ Jackson has been activated, he continues to be absent from practice with a knee injury, leading to the thought that the Titans may have to continue on without him for another week. Jackson has not played all season due to a knee injury.
Others who were out of practice on Wednesday included linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (knee), receivers Adam Humphries (concussion) and Corey Davis (not injury related), cornerback Chris Jackson (illness), center Ben Jones (knee), guard Rodger Saffold (ankle), tight end MyCole Pruitt (knee) and defensive lineman Larrell Murchison (rib).