NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans coach Mike Vrabel was teammates with former Titans running back Eddie George at Ohio State, and the two remain friends.
Vrabel was pleased to hear George gave Titans running back Derrick Henry some constructive criticism earlier this season, which Henry said gave him a different outlook moving forward.
"I think we can all learn from other players, and guys that played in this league, so I think that is great," Vrabel said on Thursday. "There's a relationship there, and Eddie ran through some struggles. He had some tough times, I know he did at Ohio State – he fumbled twice in the goal line. So to be able to overcome some of that adversity, which we all face. I think you need other people who have been through that, that can tell you: You can get through it. This is how you battle through."
The conversation between Henry and George took place at the team's bye week, when Henry was averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. In the first seven weeks of the season, Henry had just 273 yards and one touchdown on 84 carries.
Since, Henry has exploded, averaging 6.5 yards per carry while racking up 609 yards and nine touchdowns on 94 carries since the in the past seven games since the bye. Henry now has 882 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season, and he's racked up a franchise-record 408 yards in the past two games.
"(Eddie) is in this community. The more he wants to be around here, the better," Vrabel said. "I am just glad that he is able to help some of our players."
With outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Sharif Finch ruled out for Saturday's game, Vrabel said rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans could be used rushing the passer against the Redskins.
Evans has played in 13 games this season, and he's been credited with 54 tackles and six quarterback pressures.
The Titans also want to be careful about overloading Evans, Vrabel said.
"Rashaan has helped us a little bit on third down, which has been good for him," Vrabel said. "We're just trying to get everybody involved in the game. (Rashaan) has a great attitude … and we want to give him enough where he can help us because there's stuff we like with his skill set. Hopefully that can continue to expand and he can help us on all three downs."
In addition to Finch (shoulder) and Orakpo (elbow), tight end Cole Wick (shoulder) has also been ruled out for Saturday's game vs. the Redskins.
Receiver Tajae Sharpe (ankle) is listed as questionable after missing his third straight practice.
Safety Kenny Vaccaro (concussion) practiced in full on Thursday and appears good to go for Saturday's game, although Titans coach Mike Vrabel said immediately after practice he's still waiting on word from specialists.
Vrabel worked with Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey during Thursday's practice. Casey was limited in practice on Thursday.
The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)