Tennessee Titans: DeMarco Murray injury opens door for Derrick Henry

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: Running Back Derrick Henry
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 31: Running Back Derrick Henry /

The Tennessee Titans will now rely on Derrick Henry to lead them to victory on Saturday with DeMarco Murray out injured.

The Tennessee Titans will be down one of their top players heading into Saturday’s wild-card game against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Running back DeMarco Murray will not play on Saturday due to a knee injury that has been bothering him as of late. The Titans made the decision on Thursday to rule Murray out for the game.

Murray missed his third straight practice this week because of the injury, and shutting him down was a wise decision. Murray’s injury means that Saturday will be Derrick Henry’s time to shine.

Penciled in as the starter for the game, Henry is looking to build on a productive 2017 season. The former Alabama product has carried the ball 176 times for 744 yards and five touchdowns. His best game of the season came against the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 16. He carried the ball 19 times for 131 yards and a touchdown as the Titans won by a 36-22 score.

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Last time out, Henry put on a show against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although he struggled on the ground (28 carries for 51 yards), he caught a 66-yard pass for a touchdown as the Titans won by a 15-10 tally.

Statistically, this is a good matchup for Henry. The Chiefs were ranked No. 9 in the National Football League in rushing yards allowed with 1,403 on the season. They gave up 118.9 yards per game and 12 touchdowns in total.

Henry is more of a power runner than Murray is and once he gets going, it is like trying to tackle a truck. It will be interesting to see how he does with taking starting reps given the fact that his running style is not conductive to an extensive workload. There is no doubt he can do it. He did it at Alabama.

Rather, it will be interesting to see how they manage his snaps. Look for third-stringer David Fluellen to get some time in the backfield.  On the season, he only has four carries for 21 yards, and this could be a big game for him too in the sense that the Titans can get a better look at what he brings to the table.

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In a situation where you need everything to click in order to win a game like this, this is a tremendous loss for the Titans. Now, it is Henry’s time to shine and the team and fans alike are praying he makes the most of it.