The Los Angeles Rams host the Tennessee Titans under the primetime lights Sunday night at SoFi Stadium. News broke Monday morning that indicates the Titans could likely be without their best player, Derrick Henry, as they travel to LA. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Henry was injured against the Indianapolis Colts and “suffered a potentially season-ending foot injury”.
Titans’ RB Derrick Henry suffered a potentially season-ending foot injury during Sunday’s 34-31 win over Indianapolis, sources reported ESPN. Henry is undergoing an MRI today to determine the full extent of the damage.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 1, 2021
Veteran running back Jeremy McNichols would be the primary runner for Tennessee should Henry be absent. McNichols was drafted in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Through 8 games the veteran has primarily been a complementary receiving threat for the Titans, having notched 7 rushes for 38 yards and and 21 receptions for 203 yards and a touchdown.
Most modern team building approaches in the NFL consider the running back position as a role that can be filled affordably and without making a significant long-term investment; however, Henry is the exception to this rule, and he’s a game changer as a runner. The veteran back leads the NFL in rushing yards through 8 games and would be second in this category if you counted only his yardage earned after first contact.
In addition to his 937 yards earned on the ground, Henry has also contributed 18 receptions for 154 yards through the air.
Rushing yard leaders this season:— PFF (@PFF) November 1, 2021
Derrick Henry - 937
Derrick Henry after contact - 728
Jonathan Taylor - 649 pic.twitter.com/eziK3m2vrF
The Titans have accumulated 3,017 total offensive yards so far this season, which means Henry accounts for 36% of the team’s offensive production to-date in 2021. In a world where offensive awards are dominated by quarterbacks, Henry has a legitimate case to be in the MVP conversation. It would be a huge blow to Tennessee should the running back miss much time.
Both the Rams and Titans come into this Week 9 matchup having won 4 games in a row. It’s fair to say the absence of Henry would significantly alter the landscape of what figures to be a marquee matchup and primetime contest.
LA’s rookie inside linebacker Ernest Jones made his first NFL start Sunday against the Houston Texans, and was considered a “winner” for his performance - recording an interception and half sack against fellow rookie Davis Mills. Jones may catch a break in his second game as a full-time starter should Henry be unavailable against the Rams.
The Titans still have a number of playmakers on offense, including Ryan Tannehill, AJ Brown, and Julio Jones. Jones has been dealing with a hamstring injury recently, and has missed three games this season including the Titans’ Week 8 win over the Colts.
The Turf Show Times team will be keeping you up-to-date on all things Rams-Titans ahead of the marquee matchup Sunday night and ahead of the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, November 2nd. Follow us on your preferred social media outlets for instant updates and more!