Derrick Henry was the talk of the NFL for the final month of the 2018 season.
The Tennessee Titans running back racked up 585 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns and tied a record with his 99-yard touchdown run against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the final four games. The Titans won three of those four contests and nearly earned a spot in the playoffs, and Henry was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week once (Week 14) and AFC Offensive Player of the Month for December.
Amid preparations for Sunday’s 2019 opener against the Cleveland Browns, though, he said he would be happy if he never heard another word about last season (see the above video).
Of course, Henry hasn’t given anyone anything else to discuss.
He did not play in any of the Titans’ preseason games following a calf injury early in training camp, which has created uncertainty about whether he can build on his big finish.
It is one of the more prominent questions about the team as it enters the season because Henry has been a slow starter in his NFL career.
In Games 1-4 he has rushed for 438 yards (3.7 yards per carry) and one touchdown. In Games 5-8 he has rushed for 440 yards (4.2 per carry) and five touchdowns. In games 9-12 he has rushed for 537 yards (5.5 per carry) and five touchdowns. And in Games 13-16 he has rushed for 878 yards (4.9 per carry) and 12 touchdowns.
Three of his four career 100-yard games have come in December.
A good performance against the Browns will end the talk about last season. Otherwise, the questions about when he will produce like that again will start.