Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Todd Monken discusses how Ravens will manage Derrick Henry’s workload: ‘It’s a long season’

Derrick Henry is old, at least for running back standards. The 30-year-old has played eight years in the NFL for a total of 126 games and 10,234 yards (including playoffs), which can wear on a player.

The Baltimore Ravens brought the veteran in from the Tennessee Titans this offseason to boost their Lamar Jackson-run offense. Henry said joining the AFC powerhouse was a “no-brainer” for him and the Ravens as well, adding a top rusher can help their dual-threat quarterback.

Considering his age and how many yards he already has under his belt, whether his workload will need to be managed is a valid question. When asked about how they will approach his snap count, Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken said while they want him to be an impactful player, they also want him to be healthy all year.

“Well, if he carries it 300 times, we’re having a helluva year. I can tell you that. It means we’re running it a lot; it means we’re up in games. We want him to finish. We want him to be the closer,” Monken said. “But first and foremost, we want him to make it through the season. It’s a long season — 17 games.”

Last year the Ravens’ season was 19 games, which included two playoff games. If Baltimore makes the playoffs, as expected, the Ravens would want Henry available to help them advance. 

As well as Jackson has played in his career, his postseason has looked a lot different. They made it to the AFC Championship last season, but even with the level of talent they had, the Ravens were unable to get past the defending (and eventual) Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs

In the loss, their running game struggled, with their running backs combining for just six carries and 23 yards. Their newest star RB could certainly boost those numbers. 

Henry has over 1,000 yards rushing in each of the last two seasons and five such seasons in his career. Even as he is getting up there in age, the former Offensive Player of the Year is still a very valuable weapon who can help a team make a playoff run. Henry has played in at least 15 games in each year of his career except one and this reliability is something Monken expects once again.

“We’ll see how that goes. He’s been so durable … but I still anticipate the same of using all of our backs,” Monken said. 

Last season, Henry led the league in yards after contact, once again proving that durability.

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