NASHVILLE – Titans running back Derrick Henry hasn't played in the preseason, and chances are he won't play in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Chicago Bears.
The most important thing, of course, is for Henry to be ready for the regular season opener against the Cleveland Browns on September 8, and he believes he's on track.
"That's the plan," Henry said on Tuesday.
Henry, who ran for 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018, said his focus in recent weeks has been on getting healthy after suffering a lower leg injury on the first day of training camp.
Henry just returned to practice on August 19. He was headed back on the practice field today.
"I missed being out there with my teammates, but my focus has just been on getting healthy, and helping this team win games," Henry said. "I am getting better each and every day to make sure I am ready to go Week One.
"I just need to get back in the rhythm, and it just takes practice. After this week and next week, I should be fine. I am just happy to be back out there playing football again and getting healthy. I am getting better every day."
Henry was great at the end of the 2018 season.
In five games in the month of December, Henry's rushing totals included 97 carries for 625 yards and eight touchdowns. Henry set a franchise record with 238 yards in a game vs. the Jaguars, and he piled up 170 yards a week later in a win over the Giants. His 625 yards were the most by any NFL player in any calendar month this season. Henry was named the AFC's Offensive Player of the Month for December.
Henry got off to a slow start last season, however. At the bye week a year ago, 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.
He plans to start fast in 2019.
"You have to play at a high level," Henry said. "You can't have that inconsistency throughout the season like I had last year. Seasons come with adversity, but I have to focus on being consistent and efficient and being a great player for this team."
Henry said he's excited about the start of the season.
"We are definitely excited – it's been a long time coming," Henry said. "It's Week One, so everybody is going to be excited. Football is back."
Titans Online looks back at RB Derrick Henry's 2018 season, in which he rushed for a career-high 1,059 yards and 12 touchdowns. (AP Photos)