NASHVILLE – Titans running back Derrick Henry, like countless others across the country, was watching on Monday night when Bills safety Damar Hamlin was carted off the field in a life-threatening situation.
Hamlin, who suffered cardiac arrest, had his heartbeat restored on the field. He remains in critical condition in a Cincinnati hospital.
Henry on Wednesday revealed he hung out with Hamlin during the offseason. Henry said he's been praying every day for Hamlin and his family.
"He's a cool dude," Henry said.
The scary situation prompted Henry to stand up in front of the team on Tuesday to deliver a message about football, and life. Several others veteran Titans also talked to teammates during a team meeting.
"We risk our lives playing this game and sometimes you don't think something like that could happen," Henry said. "I told the team to be grateful for every day, for this game, and life in general. Because nothing is promised to us, anything can happen in the blink of an eye. Always give God thanks for what you have. As a kid we wanted to play this game and live this dream, but sometimes it gets hard, life gets hard. But at the end of the day God puts you in a position for you to see it through, so just have faith in Him and everything that is going on."
What's going on right now for Henry is preparing for the Jaguars.
Saturday's game in Jacksonville will decide the AFC South.
Henry, who is from Yulee, Florida, just outside of Jacksonville, is ready.
"I don't feel 29 today," a smiling Henry, on his birthday, said when asked how sitting out the last game vs Dallas might help him physically. "I feel great. I got the rest, and now I'm getting back to work."
So, will some of his old friends from high school be rooting against him Saturday night at TIAA Bank Field?
"Guys I went to high school with are Jags fans, but they don't really talk trash," Henry said. "But they are all from that area, and people from around my hometown are Jags fans as well. But nobody talks trash – they probably will during the game, but I won't hear them.
"(The Jaguars) have been playing lights-out defensively. They play very well together, and they're solid up front all the way to their secondary. … It is going to be tough on Saturday."