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Mike Vrabel says Titans will continue to monitor Derrick Henry’s status

Derrick Henry

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel said the team is continuing to exercise caution with respect to the health of running back Derrick Henry as he hopes to get healthy in time for Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns:

Henry sustained a strained calf muscle during practice towards the end of July, and has been in and out of a walking boot for the last few weeks. Tennessee is not taking any chances with the former Alabama star, who was one of the best running backs in football in the last four weeks of the season.

Tennessee improved drastically on the defensive side of the ball under Vrabel–a former linebacker for the New England Patriots–but they also took a step down offensively.

The Titans had hoped that a two-headed monster of Henry and speedster Dion Lewis would equate to a successful ground game. Indeed, Tennessee’s rushing attack ranked seventh in the NFL, but Vrabel was often criticized for his usage of Henry, who only seemed to get carries in the red zone.

In Week 14, however, Henry torched the Jacksonville Jaguars for 238 yards and four touchdowns, including a 99-yard scamper that is currently the longest run in NFL history.

Henry rushed for 585 yards (146.25 yards per game) and seven touchdowns in the last four weeks of the season, showcasing the combination of speed and bruising size that had made him such a tantalizing prospect in the first place.

Expect the Titans to utilize Henry more frequently as they hope to minimize quarterback Marcus Mariota’s workload this season.