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How long is Derrick Henry out? Injury timeline, return date, updates on Titans RB

What is the status of Derrick Henry's injury, when may he return, and what is the Titans' RB situation without the star running back?

After a handful of injury scares, Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry suffered a foot injury in Week 8 that will keep him out of action for the foreseeable future. Let’s take a look at what we know about the injury and whether Henry could return before the end of the season.

Derrick Henry’s injury is reportedly a Jones fracture

It was a somewhat confusing initial 24 hours regarding Henry’s injury. He was removed from the Titans’ Week 8 game and evaluated on the sideline. Yet, he returned to the game and finished out the day on the field. The next day, further evaluation revealed the true extent of the injury — a Jones fracture.

According to UPMC.com, a Jones fracture is a fracture of the bone on the outside of your foot (the fifth metatarsal). The injury can reportedly cause a disruption of blood flow, which increases the time the fracture takes to heal.

What is the time frame for Henry’s return?

As with any injury, an exact time frame is difficult to pinpoint. Resting the injury is important, but a pin can also be inserted during surgery to help stabilize the fracture. The optimistic time frame is around 6-8 weeks following the surgery. That would put Henry on pace to return around Weeks 14-16. For fantasy managers, this would mean that there is a small chance Henry is back for the playoffs.

However, rushing Henry back from this injury could be detrimental. As with any fracture, the quicker you return, the higher the rate of reinjury. Therefore, the Titans will likely decide based on their situation. If Henry is progressing well and Tennessee desperately needs to win down the stretch, we may see them rush Henry back.

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The Titans’ recent downturn in form could see them looking to bring Henry back earlier than expected. Coming off their bye and heading into Week 14, the Titans are in a tense situation in the NFL playoff race. The Titans have lost two straight games to slip back to 8-4.

Sitting just one win ahead of the Indianapolis Colts in the division will have the Titans nervously looking over the shoulder. The positive is that they beat the Colts twice this season, so as long as they can finish with the same record at the end of the year, they will win the division. However, if they go into Week 18 desperately needing a win, they may look to bring Henry back a touch earlier than they may have originally planned.

The Titans’ RB depth chart

The Titans’ RB depth chart has evolved a lot this season. To open the season, they had Henry, Jeremy McNichols, and Darrynton Evans on the roster. With Henry and Evans both going on injured reserve, they subsequently added Adrian Peterson to the practice squad and inevitably the 53-man roster.

Peterson then worked alongside McNichols and D’Onta Foreman before being released after their Week 11 game. McNichols has spent the past two games in the concussion protocol, meaning the Titans’ backfield has looked different again.

Against the Patriots in Week 12, the Titans relied on two RBs who they had signed to their practice squad midseason. They added Dontrell Hilliard to the practice squad on October 27 before later adding D’Onta Forman on November 2. Foreman was promoted to the active roster ahead of their Week 9 game. Hilliard was then a temporary elevation in Week 11 before being added to the roster ahead of Week 12.

The two backs impressed in Week 12 against the Patriots. Hilliard carried the ball 12 times for 131 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown. Meanwhile, Foreman had 19 attempts for 109 yards. If the two backs continue to perform as they did in Week 12, it will take the pressure off the Titans potentially needing to rush Henry back.

Ben Rolfe is a Senior Managing Editor at Pro Football Network and is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can find him on Twitter @BenRolfePFN.

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