Derrick Henry has been a surprise for the Tennessee Titans. Is surprise the correct word? Maybe you could call him a gamble. A high risk, high reward gamble. The star running back was a second-round pick with a lot of questions. Could his size be translated into the NFL? Could he do what he did in college? Henry did have the name value, yes, but again, could it translate into the big leagues?
The first two seasons of Henry’s career were mediocre at best, with some getting ready to call him a bust. It took a couple of years, but in the second half of the 2018 NFL season, Henry finally got it. The running back famously had a conversation with Titans legend and former running back Eddie George, and after that, Henry boomed.
Derrick Henry Is the Next Big NFL Running Back
In the 2018 season, Henry of course had his famous 99-yard run, then also had his then career season-high of 1,059 yards. While the Titans did miss the playoffs, the future looked bright with Henry on the team. Then 2019 happened. Henry had over 1,500 yards, 16 touchdowns, and not to mention, the NFL rushing title. A great season to finish up Henry’s rookie contract on. After that, the Titans and Henry looked to the future to see if he would stay a Titan.
It would take a few months, and a near-miss with the deadline, but Henry signed to stay with Tennessee for at least two years, and max, four years. The big question is now, can Henry stay healthy, and keep up the 2018 and 2019 pace. Henry’s amazing rushing play, along with A.J. Brown and Ryan Tannehill, helped take the Titans to their first AFC Championship appearance since 2002, showing the world that the Titans are back.
The health of a running back is something that is always questioned. The position is always physically demanding and has a shorter amount of overall playing time. Yes, Henry is in his prime, but what happens when that prime ends? The running back has only sat out for two games, and those were for strains. So Henry’s injury history is a positive note for the fans and the Titans. But will Henry nosedive and just not be able to play anymore, or will it be more over a period of time. The running back has only sat out for two games, and those were for strains. So Henry’s injury history is a positive note for the fans and the Titans.
These are questions that both the Titans front office and fans of the team have to wonder about. Is that a possible pessimistic view? Yes, but it can also be seen as a realistic view. As stated earlier, the running back position is one with a short amount of overall playtime.
No matter what happens when it comes to the future, the Titans got Henry on a great deal. While there are some reasonable questions to be asked, specifically towards the end of the deal, Henry is going to be a cornerstone of the Titans franchise. It would not be far off to say that Derrick Henry is the next big running back.