Derrick Henry addresses the media after a mini camp practice. Photos by Mike Patton

By Mike Patton

NASHVILLE, TN — Derrick Henry was a man on a mission in 2021. He was leading the league in rushing and heading into the game against the Indianapolis Colts and the Titans were at the top of the NFL with a 5 to 2 record. Then, it happened. Henry left the game with an undisclosed injury. Once diagnosed, it was discovered that he would have to have surgery and miss the rest of the regular season. 

Henry would come back for the postseason, but it was obvious that he was rusty and not his usual self. Unfortunately, the rest of the Titans offense couldn’t come to the rescue like he had so many times. The result: a 19-16 AFC Divisional Playoff round loss.

Derrick Henry taking a break in between practice periods.

The earlier than expected exit made many wonder about how Henry would come back. Would he be thinking about his injury or would he be back to his old self? At the recent Titans minicamp, he showed that he was ready to roll again.

“The foot (is) good!” Henry said with authority after getting asked about his foot a few times during his first session with the Nashville media this offseason. His ability on the field during minicamp matched his words as he did agility drills and team periods without any semblance of a limp. 

That bodes well for the Titans, but what also bodes well is a motivated Derrick Henry. “It (the loss) was tough but it definitely fueled me in the offseason.”

Heading into this season, Henry is being doubted by some because of his injury and some are wondering if this is the beginning of his ending. While some are thinking of his ending, there are many that are doubting the Titans this season outside of St. Thomas Sports Park. 

Henry and the Titans seemed to be mirroring each other because there is doubt within cast upon them by those that watch them from afar. But with the belief Henry has in himself and the motivation that’s always there, it will be interesting to see how he comes back to be the engine of the Titans offense and how he seeks to prove all his doubters wrong. It’s still early, but so far, so good with how Henry looks in his push to show everyone he is still elite.