NFL leading rusher Derrick Henry broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot and will undergo surgery on Tuesday.
Head coach Mike Vrabel confirmed the Tennessee Titans are planning on life without Henry and are working out veteran free agents. Multiple media outlets also reported the Titans are signing Adrian Peterson to their practice squad with the intent to elevate him to the active roster.
Vrabel said the Titans will not know the timeline for Henry’s return until the surgery has been completed. However, he’s expected to be out 8–12 weeks.
“I hate to speak for our players, but Derrick is disappointed, everybody is,” Vrabel said. “We spent a lot of time together with the coaching staff and with the players, so you never want to see any of them injured in any capacity. So I know that Derrick is going to work extremely hard to get back to do everything he can to help this football team.”
Vrabel pointed to a “strong nucleus” of veterans “who believe in each other” when asked how the injury shifts the outlook of the Titans.
Peterson, 36, played in 16 games (10 starts) in 2020 for the Detroit Lions but has not suited up this season. He rushed for 604 yards with seven touchdowns for the Lions. He has 14,820 rushing yards for his career, fifth all-time on the NFL rushing list.
Multiple running backs are expected to be invited to a Tuesday workout, per reports, which falls on the same day as the NFL trade deadline. Buccaneers backup Ronald Jones is reportedly being shopped and could interest the Titans if the price is right.
Henry leads the NFL in carries (219), rushing yards (937) and rushing touchdowns (10).
He injured his foot in the first quarter at Indianapolis and attempted to play through the pain, finishing the game with 28 carries for 68 yards.
Henry had 139 carries in the team’s five games in October, an excessive workload by comparison in the pass-heavy NFL.
The Titans have won four consecutive games. Tennessee outlasted the Colts in overtime to improve to 6–2 and lead the AFC South division entering Week 9. Tennessee plays at Los Angeles and the 7–1 Rams this week.