The Titans have been battered by injuries over the last few weeks. Malcolm Butler, Cameron Wake, and Delanie Walker all got move to injured reserve. Adoree’ Jackson, LeShaun Sims, and Adam Humphries have missed time in the last few weeks as well. Ryan Succop... well we’ve talked about the kicker situation enough this week.
Perhaps most importantly, Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry — that has a nice ring to it, huh? — has clearly been hampered with a hamstring injury over the last two weeks. Yes, he’s still managed to put up good numbers, but that second gear hasn’t quite been there and neither have the jump cuts or pile pushing leg drive that we have grown so used to seeing from Henry.
However, the Titans finally got some good news on the injury front today as they began preparations for their Week 16 matchup with the Saints.
The two most noteworthy items from today’s injury report are the return of Adoree’ Jackson and Derrick Henry to practice in a limited capacity.
Jackson’s absence has been felt by the Titans defense. Despite his knack for forcing fumbles, Tye Smith is nowhere near the cover man that Jackson is. Neither is the recently added Tramaine Brock. Jackson was having his best season as a pro up until the injury, allowing just 311 yards and 1 touchdown on 46 passes into his coverage, an average of just 6.76 yards per attempt.
He’s also been good at forcing quarterbacks to look elsewhere. Jackson ranks 15th out of 85 qualifying cornerbacks in coverage snaps per target per PFF. He also provides excellent run support.
We are still a long way from Jackson being officially cleared, but his return, even in a limited capacity, is significant after he failed to get on the practice field at all for the past two weeks.
The other significant note is Derrick Henry. He has been playing through pain, but had not practiced on a Wednesday since the week of the Colts game, when he turned in two limited days before a full practice on Friday of that week. The week of the Raiders game Henry went DNP, LP, FP and last week he didn’t practice at all.
This would seemingly suggest that Henry’s hamstring might be feeling a little better heading into this week than it has for the last two games. Obviously that would be great news for the Titans offense. Henry was effective against Oakland and Houston, but he wasn’t the game changing force that he can be when he’s fully healthy.
Daren Bates returned to practice for the first time since the week of the Colts game as well.
New to the injury report this week are Corey Davis (ankle), Kalif Raymond (knee), and Wesley Woodyard (knee). All three practiced in a limited capacity.
Davis is the most significant of those three, but he finished the Texans game and a limited practice would seemingly be a positive sign for his availability Sunday.
Adam Humphries (ankle) was the only non-participant. He’s missed the past two games and his status will be worth monitoring as the week rolls on. Obviously, his absence will become much more critical if Davis or Raymond were to take a turn for the worst.
The Saints had just two absences to go along with five limited designations just two days after their Monday Night Football matchup with the Colts. Kiko Alonso, Andrus Peat, Vonn Bell, and Patrick Robinson all missed the last game, but it seems like Robinson, Peat, and Alonso may have a chance to return for this game after getting on the practice field in a limited capacity today.