Trey Hendrickson was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol after exiting the Cincinnati Bengals’ Wild Card game against the Las Vegas Raiders last weekend. Is he playing against the No. 1 seeded Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round?
Is Trey Hendrickson playing today vs. the Titans?
Head coach Zac Taylor announced on Thursday that Hendrickson had progressed through and passed the concussion protocol. The veteran defensive end has been a full participant in practice since midweek and will play today against the Titans.
His status was closely monitored by Bengals fans, as Hendrickson has been one of the most important defensive players for the Bengals this season. He arrived in the offseason during free agency after signing a four-year, $60 million deal. The Florida Atlantic product spent the first four seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints.
Hendrickson’s influence in Cincinnati
Hendrickson broke into New Orleans’ starting lineup in 2019. However, he truly exploded onto the scene and got the league’s attention in 2020 after posting 14 sacks and 49 QB pressures. Because the Saints’ defense already featured a generous amount of pass-rush talent, Hendrickson hit the free-agent market and found a home with the Bengals.
He has continued that fine form and finished the 2021 regular season with 16 sacks and 75 QB pressures. That sack total placed him fourth in the NFL, tied with 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa.
Hendrickson came up big for the Bengals in the Wild Card round, as he posted a sack and a forced fumble against the Raiders. The forced fumble came when Hendrickson brushed off a mismatch block from tight end Foster Moreau, turned the corner, and swatted the ball out of Derek Carr’s hand.
Hendrickson is a game-changer, and the Bengals will be grateful to have him out there on Sunday. How much of an impact can he have on the Titans? If Tennessee pounds the rock with Derrick Henry, will it be difficult for Hendrickson to make his mark on the game?
Hendrickson against playoff opposition
Hendrickson doesn’t look like your typical force off the edge. He wears small pads and no gloves. At times, he looks like a punter or long snapper rushing the passer. But he shows up time and time again, and he’s made the league take notice.
He posted 2 sacks against Aaron Rodgers in Week 5 and at least 1 sack in nearly every game this season since then (barring Week 17 against Kansas City). Hendrickson has been the model of consistency. He’ll need to get after Ryan Tannehill to affect Cincinnati’s Divisional Round game today.