Skip to main content

Everything Derrick Henry Said As Titans Gear Up For Playoffs

Former Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama: "I feel good. I mean, I have a big steel plate in my foot. That is the only difference from the left foot to the right."

To quote the FanNation site All Titans, the question is no longer if former Alabama running back Derrick Henry will play when the Tennessee Titans take on the Cincinnati Bengals in a divisional-round playoff game on Saturday, but how much he'll play. 

Coming off surgery to repair a fracture in his foot, suffered on Oct. 31 against Indianapolis, Henry has yet to be formerly cleared to play. But he's been practicing with teammates, been participating in contract drill and met with reporters — all very positive signs. 

Barring a setback, look for Henry to be added to the Titans' roster on Friday. Meanwhile, here's what he had to say during the interview session. The transcript is provided by the Tennessee Titans and All Titans.   

(On how he is feeling and if this was the first time he ever had to deal with this sort of injury in his career)

Yeah, it was the first time that I got injured during the season and had to miss the rest of the season. It was definitely different. A little adversity, but glad I was able to get through it, have my support system and I am happy to be back.

(On how excited he is to be back out on the practice field)

You definitely appreciate this game a lot more when you are away from it. Being away from your teammates and having that comradery, going to work every day and going out and playing on Sundays each and every week, you definitely miss that. Just happy to be back. Appreciative to everybody that helped me get to be able come back and contribute during the playoffs. Just happy to be back playing football.

(On how he responded to the extra contact he had in practice yesterday)

I felt great. Just wanted to get some pads on. Haven’t had them on in a while and get some contact going in. I appreciate those guys coming over to help me do that. Definitely felt good.

(On what the toughest part of the rehab process was and what helped him get through it)

I love football. It is all I have known since I was five years old, and it is what I fell in love with. This is the first time something like this has happened. Just adversity and you have to overcome it. Thankful for the trainers, my girlfriend who was driving me here five weeks straight when I couldn’t drive, and everybody that supported me. Titans fans wrote get well letters, I definitely appreciate that. Just having faith in the man above and continuing to rehab and continue to get healthy and being able to have this opportunity right here.

(On if he is concerned about the workload he will have going forward)

I don’t think you worry about that. It is football. It is a game of injuries, injuries happen. You just have to keep pushing forward. Everything happens for a reason. Not trying to get into all of the ‘what ifs,’ and this and that. Just focus on the right now and appreciate the journey. That is all I can do.

(On if there is a difference between his feet)

I feel good. I mean, I have a big steel plate in my foot. That is the only difference from the left foot to the right. I feel good. I haven’t done anything in two and half months, so just getting back out there, getting acclimated to everything and getting back to being me.

(On if he thinks he can pickup where he left off)

It all starts out here on the practice field and doing everything I can to be ready for Saturday. That is where it starts. Just trying to work hard and trying to do the best I can to be the best player I can be for this team and try to contribute as best as I can. The work starts out here like it always does.

(On how impressed he was with the job the Titans did while he was injured)

I was definitely their biggest cheerleader. It was fun watching them while I missed playing with them. They did a great job. Guys stepped in, guys who were hungry did a great job of running that ball. Overall as a team, they did a great job as well for us to have the number one seed, get a Bye Week, and then getting into the Divisional Round. It was a good thing.

(On how much of a role he will play in Saturday’s game)

Scroll to Continue

Read More

We don’t have to get into all that. Whatever I can do to help, I am always for it.

(On the Bengals defense and the challenges they present)

They did a great job this whole year. Watching them against the Raiders, I feel like they did a great job. They had a couple guys go down, but overall they are physical penetrators. Linebackers, they play very well. Experience in the back end. They do a great job blitzing. Fast and they try to get the ball out. They have great experience and have a lot of guys who have played together for a couple years. We have our hands full. Have to prepare for them this week.

(On if he is scared about getting hit for the first time when he returns)

I am not really focused on that. I am just ready to go out there and play. If you sit there and focus on all that then you are not going to be yourself.

(On if there is an advantage in having fresh legs for the playoffs)

I would think anybody who hasn’t played in two months would feel pretty good about their body and where they are at.

(On how difficult it was to have to watch his teammates play and be away from them)

It is always hard when you go down with an injury and the season is still going on, and you love football and you want to play, but just have to work through it. There are always going to be tough times when something like that happens, but what don’t break you, makes you. That is the mindset I had and just continue to rehab, get better and do the best I can to get back on the field.

(On how often his teammates reached out to him when he was out)

They reached out to me every day. Whoever it was that texted me before each game and checking up on me, I definitely appreciated that. My teammates are like family, so I definitely appreciate it and was rooting for them while I was trying to get back.

(On if he got a lot of fan letters while he was out)

Yeah, I got a pretty good bit of them. I definitely appreciate it for them taking the time out to send love and send get well wishes. We have some of the best fans in the league and definitely was heartfelt messages and definitely appreciate it.

(On how shocking it was when he initially learned about the injury)

It was definitely shocking. Like I said, this has never happened to me in my whole career. I was just like, ‘Well, can’t do nothing about it now.’ Try to get surgery and start the recovery process and try to get back as quick as I can.

(On if he expects to play on Saturday)

Do I expect to play? We will see how this week goes and see where I am at on Saturday.

(On the opportunity the team has in front of them as a number one seed)

We definitely know it starts out here. Continue to get better in all three phases. Compete. Then, get ready for Saturday. We have a big opportunity in front of us. We want to make sure we stay focused every day in the meetings and on the practice field, and then let it lead into Saturday.

(On last year’s playoff game and how much he thinks about that game)

Not really trying to focus too much on last year. That is in the past. We came up short last year and definitely want to do the right things this year so that doesn’t happen.