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Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans After Win Over Colts, and Loss of Derrick Henry

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NASHVILLE – The Titans won big game in Indianapolis on Sunday, but they lost a big player in the process – running back Derrick Henry.

Now what?

Well, the team has a game this Sunday against the Rams in Los Angeles, so it's time to get ready for a football game.

Unfortunately, it will be without the King.

Plenty of you wrote in sharing your emotions and thoughts on all things Titans and Henry, so let's get to it…

Here's the link to ask questions: CLICK HERE.

Todd Wilder from New Braunfels, Texas
Question:
There's no way of sugar coating it. It did not feel like a Victory Monday with the news of King Henry's injury. It's a devastating blow on the field and in the locker room; and it would be foolish to think we could replace him in any possible way. As distraught as we were to hear the news Titans faithful, just think about how Derrick feels right now. The guy has been moving mountains on and off the field for 3+ years and just like that, he's out. We took you for granted King and we know you'll be back, breaking records and the will of defenses in no time. But until that time... Mike Vrabel embarks on his greatest obstacle to date. The world is going to count you out and most of them already have. That's fine, we prefer it that way. One thing we are above everything else. Resilient. That's the #1 trait in our team. When our backs are against the wall, we persevere and overcome. Y'all know and have proven you can. Now it's time to take that to another level. An unprecedented level. For your family in that locker room; for us, but most of all for Derrick, because you know he'd give anything in the world to be out there battling with you. They're expecting you guys to "lie down, your seasons over, done" fill in the blank. They obviously don't know this team. We do, and we'll be watching. Give em' hell.

Jim: Well said, Todd. I may pass this on to Coach Vrabel for his pre-game pep talk vs the Rams!

William Crewell from Scotia, New York
Question:
Good afternoon Jim. This is my second time writing in. Loving the Titans last three huge wins. Then I saw the news about King Henry. I also saw that the Titans are going to sign Adrian Peterson. This is a little puzzling to me. I thought coach Vrabel and the Titans philosophy is next man up. I would love to see Mekhi Sargent get a chance to fill in for the King. I liked what I saw of him in the preseason. He has a similar style to that of the King. Not knocking AP because he is going into the Hall of Fame. But how much gas does he have left in the tank and his conditioning at this point in his career? Just wondering your thoughts on this.

Jim: Well William, we're about to find out. The Peterson signing is now official. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing him in a Titans uniform, competing. I hate the circumstances, and I hate that Derrick Henry got hurt. I have so much respect for Derrick and how he's always handled himself on and off the field. He's going to be missed. But I have no doubt Adrian Peterson will show up in great shape, and ready to go. He's one of the best backs in NFL history. Sure, he's not a youngster like he was earlier in his career, but the guy knows how to run the football and I think guys will respond well to him. He's a pro. I've gotten a lot of emails about Sargent in the last 24 hours. He was waived from the practice squad on Tuesday, when the team added Peterson and D'Onta Foreman to the practice squad. But I'm all for giving A.P. a shot.

Michael Saling from Bowling Green, Kentucky
Question:
Not really a question but a comment as a life-long Oiler/Titan fan. Just read where a potentially season ending Injury to the KING!!! I hope and pray for Henry that it is not serious however his Health is first and foremost. He has been tremendous for this team always putting the team and us fans on his back and running away from every defense!!! If this is season ending it is time for the rest of the team to put it on their shoulders for the King! I know Derrick is a team first player and stats don't matter to him he just wants to win and do whatever he can to help the team win. Well, I have no doubt that the team will put it on their shoulders and play at a high level on both sides of the ball the remainder of the season. Derrick I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to the very best back in the league #unstoppable!!!!! Let's go Titans stay together and play like the champions you all can be!

Jim: Appreciate the email and comments, Michael.

Andrew Dench from Elkhart, Indiana
Question:
A lot of people think out season is over with Henry going down. I agree it is a huge loss. However, I believe it is going to make us better when it comes playoff time. Hopefully we can get other guys going while Henry is out. And it sounds like Henry could be back just in time for playoffs. A fresh Henry in the playoffs might be just what we need to make a Super Bowl run especially if other guys show they can step up as well. I hope for a speedy recovery for the King though.

Jim: Others will definitely need to step things up even more, and be more consistent. It's hard to say when Henry could be back, if he's able to at all – everyone recovers differently. I know Vrabel said he's hopeful, but the reality is no one knows right now. I'm not going to make any playoff guarantees in here, I know that.

Johnny Pace from Logan, Utah from Chattanooga Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim, no question this time just a comment, King Henry hurting his foot is the worst thing to happen to a Royal since the death of Princess Diana. He is in our prayers and God speed on the recovery!

Jim: Good to hear from you, Johnny.

Carol Thomas from Chattanooga, Tennessee
Question:
Imagine my horror when I turned on my T.V. to the NFL network to hear about Derrick's foot injury. It was as if someone in my family had been hurt, as a parent my first thought was I hope it is nothing too serious but my second thought as a parent was why did the people I trust to take care of him did not do a better job of it?? Those were my thoughts as a parent. I realize as a fan we have no control over how often the players are sent out on the field because that is the coach's job but really at some point, it is time to realize we are talking about human beings who are asked to do extraordinary things with super-human strength at times. I know this is not by any stretch of the imagination an end to Derrick's football career or for that matter the team's chances to get to the playoffs but let this be a lesson: EVERYONE ON THE TEAM HAS A JOB TO DO, IT SHOULD NOT REST ON THE SHOULDERS OF ONE PERSON TO CARRY THE LOAD. The Offense must carry on, protect Tannehill and keep him from getting sacked so many times. Question When is Julio Jones expected to be able to play for a FULL GAME to assist A.J. Brown?? Maybe if they could ever get the two of them for FOUR Quarters on the field together they could be the combination of threats that could take us to the playoffs.

Jim: Hi Carol. I know a lot of Titans shared your feelings when learning the news. And you're right – everyone will have to be better in Derrick's absence. I can't make any promises on Julio. He'll play when he's healthy enough to play. Will it be this Sunday? We'll see.

Bill Holmes from Fairport, New York
Question:
Gut-punch news about Henry. He did look like he wasn't getting any juice after his initial foot plant in recent games (leading to a lot of short yardage stops) and I now wonder whether that's been a slight impeding injury that has gotten more aggravated over a 2-3 week span.
Well, next man up. I like Jeremy McNichols, but we need more. Sargent looked great in pre-season...will he get some reps in games?

Jim: Hey Bill. Like I mentioned previously, Sargent was waived today. The team has other options, from Peterson to Foreman to McNichols to Dontrell Hilliard, who's on the practice squad. It's going to be interesting to see how all this plays out.

Bill in Spokane, Washington
Question:
Mr. Wyatt. That trick the Colts pull - where the QB intentionally underthrows the pass, then the wideout hits the brakes, forcing the DB to run into him, then the officials call defensive pass interference - I hope that's something the league looks it this offseason. How on earth can a DB possibly avoid that penalty and still cover the wideout?

Jim: The Titans didn't play a few of those balls very well, but I'm with you – I think it's a strategic plan to draw penalties instead of guys making attempts to catch those balls. We saw it time and again against the 49ers, and we saw it again on Sunday in Indy.

E.M. McFarland from Chula Vista, California
Question
: Why not bring Mekhi Sargent up from practice squad? He may not have a lot of pro experience but he looked pretty good during the preseason, he is already on the team and from what I could see he is willing to run through a wall. I personally wanted to see him last time Darrynton Evans was injured. Seems like a better option than Adrian Peterson. Is Sargent having trouble with playbook, or assignments?

Jim: Keep in mind he's carried the ball just two times for four yards this season, so as you said, he's lacking experience. We'lI see if he resurfaces after being waived today.

Lawrence E Hughes from Castalian Springs, Tennessee
Question:
At the end of colts/Titans game in Indy, QB Wentz was hit and almost tackled for a loss, fell forward, ball touches the ground, he regains footing, and throws a pass. Why wasn't he down by contact?

Jim: Hey Lawrence. I know the exact play you're referring to here. As you said, the ball touched the ground, but no part of his body did. So that doesn't count as being down.

Jared Mixon from Valdez, Arkansas
Question:
I know it's a big loss for the team, but the Titans don't quit. The wins over the past few weeks were team wins. That defense made some big plays, Tannehill and AJ made plays, our kicker and punter are making plays. I'm ready to watch the Titans prove everyone wrong who think the season is over. Cause it ain't. TITANUP!

Jim: Good to hear from you again, Jared. Yeah, the Titans aren't going to be throwing in the towel

Hunter Phelan from South Pasadena, California
Question:
Good day to you Jim, and thanks for all that you do. Obviously some somber news today. I've been bummed out all day. Just want to say get well soon King Henry!!! Feel bad for him personally because he was well on his way to third straight rushing title and first player ever to pop 2k in yards twice. All since the McNair and George days the TITANS have had a workhorse type mentality and identity. The King has carried the torch for the early Titan greats. His hard work ethic and humble approach is so inspiring, and you can tell just a great person, and overall great dude. He has inspired me to do more as I own small business, and have lost several people and like most industries really struggling to hire replacements. I been trying to have the same approach at work and will do whatever it takes to lead my team and won't ask my team to do one thing I'm not willing to myself. I will be at SOFI rooting for the fellas this Sunday as I know Mr. Derrick will too.
GO TITANS AND TITAN UP!!

Jim: Hey Hunter. Nice words about, Derrick. I'm sure he appreciates it. Give me a shout if you see me Sunday night at SoFi!

Phil Costaggini from Corvallis, Oregon
Question:
It is very unfortunate that Derrick Henry has been injured.
I think you should sign Adrian Peterson without delay.
I believe he is ready and will greatly contribute to your team effort this year.
Would you please forward this idea to the coaches?
Thank you. Sincerely, Phil Costaggini

Jim: They're on it, Phil.

Cody Willoughby from Nashville, Tennessee
Question:
What up J.W.?
I'm at the hospital waiting on the arrival of my 3rd child super pumped but also bumming pretty hard about the news of our boy The KING. I pray for him a speedy recovery and hope that he is at the best mental place he can be giving his injury.
Just a couple comments and a question for you about the game yesterday. I found myself yelling at the tv yesterday wondering why we didn't try to get AJ more involved earlier in the game. I think we have to be more creative about getting him opportunities early in the game. He ended up having an incredible game and maybe I'm off here but it just seems like we need to get the best player on the field more involved. He to me is the best player on the field every time he suits up. Also, I was excited to see what Avery Williamson was going to bring on the field yesterday but did not see him at all instead we went with Monty Rice who to me looked lost on several occasions. My question is: Were you expecting Avery to play more snaps and wanted to get your take on that? Thanks for all that you do! Looking forward to a big showdown with the Rams on Sunday night Primetime!!

Jim: Hey Cody! Oh man, exciting times for you. Congrats. As for Avery, you're right, Monty played 54 snaps on defense, and Avery only played on special teams. I really like Avery, but Vrabel said from the get-go he was brought in here for depth, and to help on special teams. So I can't say I'm surprised. Coaches like Monty, and he's going to be given a chance. UPDATE: Avery was released on Tuesday.

Michael Schlitz from Columbus, Georgia
Question:
Wow, what a great game Sunday was. Sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time watching the boys battle it out. Several big mistakes and I know coach will harp on cleaning those things up. So I'm not too worried about that going into the next game where we face a challenging LA Rams. When I look at the stats of the two teams we are closer to being like and most would probably admit.
My question is, are some of the players on the designated to return list getting any healthier where they might return before the game? It would be nice to have as many of our Playmakers on the field as possible including some of those that have stepped up in the recent weeks to help win games. I personally View a big win against the Rams is right there with big wins against the Chiefs and the Bills. I know the two toned blue have enough pieces to go in and get the wind if some of those things that need to be cleaned up get taken care of. I would just like your perspective of how you see things going this week as far as players.I would like to say congratulations to the players free continuing to fight it out until the very end. Do the coaches and the staff for calling an excellent game changing things up. I am proud of being a Titans fan for many years and this at Sunday's game gives us a lot to be proud of.
Lastly, thank you Jim for your continued hard work and dedication to make sure we are all informed about everything Titans. I am grateful that we have you to disseminate the information. Have a great week and I look forward to reading your updates throughout the week. Keep up the hard work.

Jim: Appreciate it, Michael. I think Kristian Fulton is edging closer. Linebacker Jayon Brown was put on the Designated for Return list last week, when he started practicing with the team. Same with outside linebacker Derick Roberson. Other guys who missed Sunday's game with injuries – Julio Jones, Khari Blasingame, Rashaan Evans, Kendall Lamm and Teair Tart – are more week to week, so keep an eye on the Injury Report this week.

Eli Decko from Youngwood, Pennsylvania
Question:
Another gritty game and another win for The Boys. AJ Brown is something else isn't he? Poor Derrick Henry man. When will this line get even the slightest bit of a push? Henry was contacted at the line of scrimmage on every single run today. I made sure to go back and watch all his carries cuz I almost wrote this email during the game and I wanted to make sure, but it was every single run. This is not good. The Colts front looked like the 85 Bears out there against us. I feel we should trade Julio Jones as well. He is absolutely useless on this team. We will need an inspired effort vs the Rams if we want the slightest chance of beating them next week. Thanks again Jim.

Jim: Hey Eli. A.J. is something else. The Colts were stacking the box a lot, making it tough to Derrick, and we now know why he wasn't quite right himself. And, the Titans aren't trading Julio Jones.

Troy Rogers from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim. 1st off thanks for the great job you do listening to us old Flame Heads and keeping us informed. Just a quick observation but is the Colts best offensive play to under throw the ball and get pass interference call. Maybe the league should come up with a flopping call for QB's who can't get the ball there or receivers who can't catch. TITAN UP

Jim: Appreciate it. Troy. I touched on this earlier. Watching it is kind of annoying, huh?

Mike Jones from Hampton, Virginia
Question:
What's up Jim? Defense stepped up and made plays to get us the win. I know we had a lot of dumb penalties but it was some questionable critical ones. What's your opinion on some of the penalties?

Jim: Hey Mike. The Titans racked up 11 penalties for 161 yards on Sunday. Way too many. I get why the one on Jeffery Simmons was thrown – the play was pretty much over, and it was an unnecessary hit whether the whistle was blown or not. Don't @ me on this because I know not everyone agrees with me on this. I'll just say when the hit was made, I wasn't surprised to see a flag, and the Colts would've been punting. It just wasn't the right time to take a free shot if you ask me, which you did ... I thought Byard earned his penalty downfield – but he made up for it with the overtime interception. I thought the Hooker penalty was a cheap one, but he has to do a better job of finding the ball.

Joseph Carney from Anchorage, Alaska
Question:
Hi Jim. I've been out of commission for the last couple weeks (COVID ain't no joke!) so bear with me if you've already commented on the following. So I'm a bit confused on the new IR rules. Is there any indication whether a player will be out 3 games vs. the entire season? I think of Caleb Farley and Rashad Weaver - would you expect either back this year? Also any insight into the Ty Sambrailo retirement - injury related? Personal? Tough timing for the Titans.
Thanks Jim - I speak for all Titan fans: we appreciate you!!

Jim: Hey Joseph. Appreciate it. And glad to hear you're back on your feet. As far as the IR rules, under the new rules every player is allowed to come back once, after sitting out at least three weeks. If a player goes on IR for a second time, he can't come back, and that's why running back Darrynton Evans is done for the year. Farley won't be back, and I haven't heard any buzz about Weaver potentially coming back either.I don't think I'd bet on it. As for Sambrailo, it was his decision to walk away. Best to you in Anchorage.

Adam Shamp from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question:
Hi Jim! I just recently moved back to TN and haven't been to a game yet but u watch every chance I can and am a die hard fan. I voted for Matt Rogers to be the Titans new PA announcer. I really liked his voice and hoped that he'd bring passion and fire to the crowd and make the stadium come alive. Sadly I haven't been able to make it to a game yet this year to hear him. So I was just wondering how he's doing? Curious if he had any impact on the last game. I can't really hear him through the TV but I heard our fans loud and clear!! Was wondering if he is all or part of the reason. Any info would be appreciated!! Titan up!!!!

Jim: Hey Adam. I've heard a lot of good feedback on Matt. He's enthusiastic, has a great voice for the job and he knows the game well. The fans seem to dig him.

Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question:
Dear Jim, Wow! What a game. Man that was close. The Colts contained Derrick Henry and they beat up Ryan Tannehill but somehow the Titans still pulled it out. I admit that I'm surprised that the Titans won this game against the Colts in Lucas Oil Stadium. When I woke up (west coast) the Colts were ahead 14 to 0 and I thought it would probably be a blowout. But the Titans fought back and never gave up and never stopped believing they could win. Amazing game. The Titans might be the number 1 seed now but the question is whether or not they can protect it with some hard games coming up. For starters they have to battle the Rams in Los Angeles.

Jim: Hey Jimmy Dee. No doubt, it's going to be a tough one on Sunday in L.A.

Have a great week everyone!

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