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Will Titans rest Derrick Henry for Week 17 TNF vs. Cowboys?

Tennessee’s star running back could use a break this week.

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans
Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans warms up prior to the game against the Houston Texans at Nissan Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Tuesday update: Henry was seen participating in practice after missing Monday’s sessions with a hip injury. The running back has typically gotten a rest day at least once during the week but eventually does suit up and play. We don’t know if the Titans plan on resting starters or managing workloads during the game given how everything hinges on their Week 18 game agains the Jaguars. We’ll see if Henry ends up playing in what is likely a championship week for many fantasy leagues.

Derrick Henry’s workload as the star running back of the Tennessee Titans has started to become a topic of conversation in recent years, even as Henry continues to dominate the league as one of the top players at his position. The Titans have a short week after a shocking loss to the Houston Texans in Week 16, and will face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17 on Thursday Night Football.

The Titans are already without Ryan Tannehill for the rest of the year and they probably wouldn’t beat the Cowboys even if Henry did play. Tennessee is in a “win or go home” situation in Week 18 against the Jacksonville Jaguars regardless of what happens in Week 17, so would the Titans rest Henry for this matchup?

Henry has carried the ball 319 times this season, which is unheard of in this era where running backs often split work. He’s 60 carries away from setting a career high mark in the category. His yards per carry is 4.5, which is down from some previous seasons where he was at 5+ yards per carry with similar volume. The Titans running back could use a break for sure.

From a fantasy football standpoint, this is obviously a decision that will impact many championship matchups. Henry is likely to be rostered by many title-contending teams, and losing his production for the championship game would be tough to recover from. Most fantasy football teams that make the championship have some depth, but Henry is a special player. Managers will have to monitor his status and be plugged into any reports about his workload ahead of Thursday’s game.