Derrick Henry rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2020, and many expected him to enjoy similar success last season. Instead, the Tennessee Titans star broke a bone in his foot and missed nine games. Henry says that has motivated him over the past several months.
Henry told reporters at the start of minicamp on Tuesday that his foot injury and the Titans’ early playoff exit have “definitely fueled me in the offseason.”
“I get motivated by anything. 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,” Henry said, per Jim Wyatt of the Titans’ official website. “We’re going to see.”
Henry had 937 rushing yards last season despite appearing in just 8 games. He was on pace to eclipse the 2,000-yard mark in back-to-back seasons. He returned for Tennessee’s Divisional Round playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but he rushed for just 62 yards on 20 carries. Henry appeared to lack his usual explosion, which was expected given the circumstances.
Now, Henry insists his foot feels “real good.”
“I’ve had time away, and I’ve been training like crazy, doing everything I can get my body right,” he said. “I have been working and I feel good now.”
There was talk of the Titans drafting an eventual replacement for Henry. They took Michigan running back Hassan Haskins in the fourth round. If they were really concerned about Henry, they probably would have addressed the position sooner.
Tennessee would be wise to cut back on Henry’s workload a bit, but no one would be surprised if he leads the NFL in rushing again in 2022.