Titans Coach Mike Vrabel Explains Decision to Hold Out RB Derrick Henry vs. Saints

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NASHVILLE – The Titans decided to sit down running back Derrick Henry for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, with the hope that he'll be closer to 100 percent for next week's game against the Texans.

Henry, who has dealt with a lingering hamstring injury, was inactive vs the Saints for the first time this season.

The Titans, who lost 38-28 to the Saints at Nissan Stadium, are now faced with a win-and-in playoff scenario next Sunday against the Texans as a result of Pittsburgh's loss to the Jets.

"That was an organizational decision that we thought was best for the football team," Vrabel said of Henry. "We try to make every decision with the team's best interest in mind, and there's a lot of guys who stepped up and took advantage of their opportunities, Dion (Lewis), (Dalyn) Dawkins, Tajae (Sharpe), (Derick) Roberson, Nigel (Harris) got to play on special teams. So that is what this league is about, guys taking advantage of their opportunity."

Dion Lewis started for the Titans against the Saints and ran for 68 yards on 15 carries, while Dalyn Dawkins carried the ball nine times for 24 yards.

Henry, who has 1,329 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the season, was named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.

Vrabel hopes the game off will provide Henry with better health vs. the Texans.

Henry didn't practice all week leading up to the team's game against the Texans on December 15, and his practice time was limited leading up to this week's game.

"First of all, nobody respects the effort that Derrick puts forward for the team, not only with the conditioning to get his body right, to be a runner that can withstand the pounding of an NFL season," Vrabel said of Henry. "I fully understand with the toll and rigor. You can only hope that it would help and that is why we made the decision that we made."

The Tennessee Titans take on the New Orleans Saints in Week 16 of the 2019 season at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donald Page)

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