Derrick Henry is a welcome sight at Tennessee Titans practice, having returned following a lengthy layoff with a foot injury. But the star running back isn't yet ready to proclaim himself a go for the team's Divisional Round home playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday (4:30 p.m. ET, CBS).
"We'll see where I am on Saturday," Henry said Wednesday, addressing the media for the first time in almost three months.
On the field would be an ideal location for the Titans -- Henry's been sidelined since the club's Week 8 win over the Indianapolis Colts. Surgery on the foot was required, but his recovery went well enough that the team designated him for return from injured reserve earlier this month. Henry said he still has a steel plate in his foot, but is nevertheless encouraged to be back around his teammates.
"It all starts out here on the practice field and doing everything I can to be ready for Saturday," Henry said. "That's where it starts. Just trying to work hard, trying to be the best I can, be the best player I can be for this team and try to contribute as best as I can. But the work starts out here like it always does."
Tennessee's offensive line thrives as a run-blocking unit, and although the team's scoring average dipped significantly during Henry's absence, the Titans managed to maintain a solid rushing attack led by D’Onta Foreman. They'll face a Bengals rush defense that ranked fifth in the NFL during the regular season at 102.5 yards per game.
Through the season's first eight games, Henry rushed for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns on 219 carries. Despite missing nine regular season games, he still finished ninth in the league in rushing yards. Now, he's finally working his way back, and his practice week will be under close watch.
"It's going to be a big week of practice for us to continue to get Derrick back out there and get him acclimated to running the football and to seeing blocking schemes and seeing where guys are and to see where the cuts are," Vrabel said Monday.
For a Titans team that's just two wins from the Super Bowl, the timing has come none too soon.