Why Derrick Henry Might Not Play This Week (And It’s Not What You Think)

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With the NFL extending the regular season to 18 Weeks this year, so too have many fantasy leagues across the country.

The extra week means that this weekend’s matchups may have fantasy Championship (and money) winning implications. And one player that many fantasy owners should be concerned about this week is Derrick Henry.

Not only was Henry limited in practice on Tuesday due to a hip injury, but perhaps more importantly – history may not be on fantasy owners side either.

That’s because the Tennessee Titans running back finds himself in a similar situation as he did three years ago.

Derrick Henry sat out towards the end of the year in 2019 with an injury. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)


In 2019, the Titans were in the second-to-last game that had no impact on making the playoffs or not. So what did the team do? They rested Henry to keep him healthy for the final week and a possible playoff run. The Titans would end up losing to the Saints 38-28 and played for the AFC Wildcard spot the following week against an already playoff clinched Houston Texans team.

The Titans would then use a rested Derrick Henry for the following weeks that led to an AFC Championship appearance where they ultimately lost to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Now, both Henry and the Titans see themselves in a nearly identical situation, as ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports:

Fantasy football owners have to contemplate playing Derrick Henry this week. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)


On Thursday, the 7-8 Titans have nothing to play for. Their playoff hopes will lie in the regular season finale when they face the 7-8 Jacksonville Jaguars. According to The Athletic, the Titans playoff chances only increase by 0.2 percent (22.8 to 23.0) if they win.

The Week 18 matchup between the Titans and Jaguars next week is essentially a defacto AFC South Championship Game. (Although if either team does win this week and then they both tie each other in Week 18, then that’s a different story).

You add the fact that it’s a short week for the Titans? I can hear the groans from Derrick Henry fantasy owners now.

If I’m a fantasy owner, I’m looking into other options besides Derrick Henry this week. Despite him being limited at practice this week – I understand the temptation of playing someone like Henry – the dude is an absolute beast and fantasy owners rightfully so believe that he’ll be able to push through.

However, that may be wishful thinking.

Not because of his injury.

But rather what the Titans have done in the past with him in similar situations.

Written by Mike Gunzelman

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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