Titans RB Derrick Henry to play Bengals with metal plates on foot and shoe

Derrick Henry is back, officially activated and ready to start for the Titans. Break out the hype of one of the NFL’s best players making a dramatic comeback for the playoffs, and the king will essentially be back to normal.

With one exception: “I have a big steel plate in my foot,” Henry said this week.

It’s true. The player who was an MVP candidate before breaking the fifth metatarsal in his foot and having surgery had a steel plate inserted into his foot. That’s not all.

Henry is also expected to play in Saturday’s Divisional Round against the Bengals with a metal plate in his shoe, similar to those worn by players with turf toes. Additional protection.

The metal plate is a modified brace to protect the foot from stress and prevent it from flexing. He takes the pressure off the repaired area to keep it safe while he runs and cuts. He can run without any reservations.

As for the plate, it is considered more secure and stable than simply inserting a screw into the repaired metatarsal. Henry actually has a plate and five screws in his foot.

Eleven weeks from surgery, Henry is about to go full throttle. The bone is almost completely healed and is considered strong enough to withstand the constant pressure it will put on it today.

Henry hasn’t played since Oct. 31, when he unknowingly broke his foot against the Colts and had 28 carries left. Dr Norman Waldrop and Dr Lyle Cain of Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Center performed the surgery soon after and eyes were set on a comeback this season.

“That’s never happened to me in my entire career,” Henry said this week. “I was just like, ‘Well, there’s nothing I can do about it now.’ Try to get surgery and start the recovery process and try to come back as soon as possible.”

Henry is listed at 6-foot-3, 247 pounds, and he’s basically at his weight right now. After a long rehabilitation including many workouts and cardio work, he is in top physical shape. One person who saw him in training this week simply said, “He looked great, you know he’s a freak.”

The hope is that the adrenaline of the return overwhelms the nerves or the apprehension of being back. Henry won’t be counted out, but they’ll keep an eye on him. Judging from how the game plays, the Titans may have D’Onta Foreman play a slightly bigger role than usual or at least spell Henry so there aren’t too many snaps in a row.

But basically, Henry is back.

“You definitely enjoy this game a lot more when you’re not in it,” Henry told reporters. “Being away from your teammates and having that camaraderie, going to work every day and going out and playing on Sundays every week, you definitely miss that. I’m just happy to be back.”

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