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Derrick Henry will not play in Week 18, expected back for playoffs

The Titans will save their start running back for the playoffs.

Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans will wrap up their regular season on Sunday against the Houston Texans, looking to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They will have to do so without running back Derrick Henry. The team designated him for return to practice, but they did not activate him in time for Sunday’s game.

Henry suffered a broken foot in the Titans Week 8 game against the Colts. The thought was he could potentially return for the playoffs, but the timeline was not certain in the early going. However, his rehab has gone well and there was some suggestion he could come back as early as Week 18 if needed.

The Titans clinched the AFC South and are playing for home field advantage and a first round bye in the season finale. They need a win or losses by the Chiefs, Bengals, and Patriots (or a Bills win) to secure it. They’re guaranteed a first round home game no matter what, and have a strong chance at the No. 2 seed even if they lose on Sunday.

It makes more sense to get Henry at least one more week of rest, rather than risk an early aggravation. Furthermore, they’ve played well enough without him and are facing a bad Texans team in the finale. Houston did beat Tennessee previously this year, but the Titans are favored for a reason.

D’Onta Foreman will get the start on Sunday and backup Dontrell Hilliard will see extensive work as well.