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Achieving most of their second-half success without running back Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans are eager to up their contention for a championship once Henry makes a return — which appears sooner than later.
OutKick founder Clay Travis tweeted on Saturday that the running back, sidelined since a Week 8 Jones fracture against the Indianapolis Colts, has been spotted at the Titans facility showing no signs of physical impediment — not even a limp.
Henry had surgery on Nov. 6 and is slated to be at full health by the time Tennessee appears in the postseason. There have also been rumors of the running back returning by Week 18 to “shake off some rust” against the Houston Texans, per Titans Wire.
The Titans (10-5) reached a consecutive double-digit win season with a Week 16 victory and are in slim contention to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Amid their success comes a lukewarm perception of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. While the team’s overall dynamic comes from either side of the ball stepping up to win, Tannehill’s 3:6 TD to INT ratio in his last five games has led to an uneven yoke weighing on the Titans defense.
Henry’s return will be a significant aid to Tannehill’s management of the offense. Titans OC Todd Downing believes Tannehill still boasts the requisite efficiency to keep the team running.
“I know that we’re always looking for yardage and QB rating and all of those things,” announced Downing. “But Ryan has played efficient football, distributing for us in stretches. There have been some of those turnovers or even lack of production that doesn’t fall on his shoulders. Unfortunately, that hurts his stats. Ryan’s the leader of this team. We have a lot of belief in him pulling the trigger at the QB position for us.”
Two upcoming games against the Dolphins and Texans will be prime moments for Tannehill to shake off the ephemera of sub-par performances. However, if Tannehill’s arm can’t get it done, the defense will be keen to step up — welcoming back Denico Autry, Bud Dupree and Buster Skrine from the COVID list on Saturday.
The Titans are 3.5-point favorites over the Miami Dolphins in Week 17. Sign up to the OutKick / FanDuel community today — users can make their first bet risk-free up to $1,000. If the bet loses, the FanDuel Sportsbook will refund you in site credit.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela