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Derrick Henry staying on I.R. for Week 18

We break down the news that Titans RB Derrick Henry has been designated to return from I.R. for Week 18.

Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against Xavier Rhodes #27 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 31, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Saturday update: According to the team site, Henry will not be activated from injured reserve in Week 18. He can still come back for the playoffs, which was likely to be the plan the whole time. The running back has been able to rest up during his injury stint, so he could be fresher than ever when the Titans enter the postseason.

Wednesday update: Henry has been designated to return from I.R. and will practice this week, per Adam Schefter. He is still unlikely to play this week, but this is good news for his availability in the playoffs.

The Tennessee Titans are likely to have their best player back on the field for the playoffs. Running back Derrick Henry is expected back at practice on Wednesday as the Titans open preparations for their Week 18 matchup against the Houston Texans, per Dianna Russini.

There has been talk Henry could return in Week 18, but Russini tweeted that it is a long shot. The Titans can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win or losses by the Chiefs and Bengals. The Texans are a bad team, so they should theoretically be able to beat them without Henry.

Fantasy football implications

A win would be critical, but it seems unlikely we see Henry this weekend. But we can expect him back for the playoffs and DFS and playoff fantasy games. In the meantime, D’Onta Foreman and Dontrell Hilliard are the running backs to watch in Week 18. Foreman is the clear starter, but Hilliard got some decent work and scored a touchdown in the team’s Week 17 matchup with the 49ers. He’s not a must start, but there’s some flex upside and he’s an intriguing DFS option.