Alabama in the Pros

Titans to give Henry “more opportunities” and praised Rashaan Evans

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

For residents of Tennessee and fans of Alabama football, it appears as though the Titans finally understand how valuable Derrick Henry is as a running back in the National Football League. 

RELATED: Derrick Henry on pace for career game for Titans against Jaguars

The 6-foot-3, 247-pounder had to prove himself on Thursday Night Football, as Tennessee faced Jacksonville at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. Head coach Mike Vrabel decided to depend on the former Crimson Tide standout and 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, giving him 18 carries. 

Henry responded by delivering the Titans his best performance as a third-year player and most dominant outing since his meeting versus LSU in 2015. He pounded the Jaguars for 238 yards rushing (career-high) with four touchdowns on 18 carries.

His 99-yard rumble to pay dirt completely broke Jacksonville’s will as he stiff-armed multiple defenders to the end zone. 

Tennessee won the game, 30-9, improving to 7-6 on the season. 

With his efforts, Henry tied Tony Dorsett (Pro Hall of Famer) for longest touchdown run in league history and came up 58 yards short of tying Adrian Peterson’s mark (296) for most rushing yards in a single-game. Vrabel was pleased with the balance Henry brought to the offense and per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online, he wants Henry to have more opportunities. 

Along with Henry, Vrabel was also complimentary of Rashaan Evans. 

The first-round pick at inside linebacker for the 2018 NFL Draft totaled five tackles – including one he shared for loss of yardage. Like his days in Tuscaloosa, Evans surrendered nothing to running back Leonard Fournette.

He was shut down against Alabama while at LSU and was limited to just 36 yards on 14 carries versus Tennessee as a member of the Jaguars.  

Vrabel called Evans a “fun guy to coach” and said “he keeps getting better.” 

Behind both players, the Titans remain in the playoff hunt for the sixth and final spot in the American Football Conference postseason picture.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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