Saturday, June 25, 2022

Titans’ Derrick Henry motivated to prove he’s the same player he was before foot injury

NFL: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
Jim Brown / USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee Titans star running back Derrick Henry reported for mandatory minicamp this week, and he looked similar to the player that led the NFL in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in 2019 and 2020. 

Half of the 2021 season was stolen from Henry due to a foot injury, and now as a 28-year-old running back, some doubt if Henry can be the same impactful player he once was. Henry says those questions serve as motivation for him.

“I get motivated by anything,” Henry said, via the Titans’ official website. “Someone could motivate me and wouldn’t even know it. … The doubters, whatever they want to be, I am definitely motivated and ready to go. We’re going to see.”

Before the foot injury suffered in Week 8 vs. the Indianapolis Colts, Henry was averaging 124.1 rushing yards per game. In his eight contests played, Henry recorded 937 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. However, that hot start was gone in the blink of an eye.

The Titans aren’t too worried about Henry moving forward, and are reportedly even open to signing their star running back to a new deal. Henry said that having the game taken away from him last season gave him a new appreciation for it.

“Any time something traumatic happens, it definitely changes you,” Henry said “Of course, I missed my teammates.”

The Titans have plenty of newfound motivation that stems from last year. Despite playing with what was a record-setting amount of different players due to injury, the Titans claimed the No. 1 seed in the AFC and clinched a first-round bye plus home-field advantage for the playoffs. However, offensive struggles undermined a historical defensive performance, ousting Tennessee from the postseason with an upset loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Henry said earlier this offseason he was “pissed off” about that loss, and that he can’t wait to play football again. It sounds like Henry could be more motivated than he ever has been entering 2022.

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