The Tennessee Titans are not expected to have star running back Derrick Henry when they take on the Dallas Cowboys on “Thursday Night Football,” according to NFL Media. Henry is officially listed as doubtful for Week 17 due to a hip injury that limited him in practice all week. Now, Hassan Haskins is slated to see the bulk of the work out of Tennessee’s backfield.
Thursday’s Week 17 opener against Dallas means virtually nothing to the Titans. No matter how this game unfolds along with the rest of the weekend, they’ll still be in postseason contention and will be facing a winner take all matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 18 for the AFC South crown.
With that in mind, it appears like Tennessee is opting to rest any player that is a bit banged up to have them fresh for that much more important showdown next week. Already, Mike Vrabel’s team has ruled out eight players, which include Ryan Tannehill, Jeffery Simmons, and Zach Cunningham. While Henry is technically listed as doubtful, it doesn’t make much sense to give him his usual workload against a tough Dallas defense and risk him getting hurt before the matchup with Jacksonville, which is essentially a playoff game.
Henry has started and played in each of Tennessee’s 15 games this season and has played 66.1% of the offensive snaps (ninth-most on the team). He also leads the league in rushing attempts entering Week 17, so giving him this week to get a breather could help the linchpin of their offense be that much more impactful against the Jags.
As for Haskins, this would be the first start of his career if Henry is ultimately ruled out. The 2022 fourth-round pick out of Michigan has played sparingly this season, logging 11 carries for 50 yards. He’s also caught all seven of his targets for 31 yards. Of course, quarterback Malik Willis should factor into Tennessee’s ground attack as well.
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