NASHVILLE, Tenn.  – Derrick Henry scoffed at the weekly workload questions and Mike Vrabel has generally talked about using his best players as warranted.

While I thought things were getting to be a little much this season with the running back’s carries, I was OK with their lines of thinking.

Derrick Henry

Derrick Henry/ pool photo, Donald Page, Tennessee Titans

Worry about now, now, and later, later.

But like most, I envisioned Henry’s inevitable injury or breakdown as part of later.

Instead, it’s here now.

He’ll have surgery to repair a right foot injury on Tuesday, Mike Vrabel said. Vrabel declined to get into any timetable but reports and medical people are suggesting a best-case scenario is eight weeks. [Unlocked]

Multiple reports say the injury is a Jones fracture in the fifth metatarsal of Henry’s right foot.

"We're not going to put a timeline on when he may return," Vrabel said. "I know he'll do everything he can to work himself back to be able to help this football team. whenever that is that's when it'll be. I know he'll be around our team as soon as he can. I know that is important to him. I know that will be important to our team. We will have to move on unfortunately without him in the short term and not look back."

It’s an injury that really changed the career of Jevon Kearse and that Julio Jones has dealt with. It is most common among wide receivers. Julian Edelman, Sammy Watkins and Deebo Samuel are among others who dealt with it, along with Kevin Durant and Brook Lopez of the NBA.

Without Henry, the Titans began a revamp of the position by signing Adrian Peterson, 36, per ESPN and NFL Media. He will start out on the practice squad and be elevated in short order.

Darrynton Evans was just put on IR for a second time so his season is over. He showed no propensity for being a second back, better yet a lead guy in a situation like this.

Jeremy McNichols has done a nice job as the third-down back, but he’s been given all of seven handoffs. Dontrell Hilliard was just signed and was the kickoff returned in Indianapolis.

Undrafted Mekhi Sargent is on the practice squad, a fan favorite from training camp who’s done nothing to indicate he’s up for lead back work.

The Titans will be bringing in a back, perhaps Adrian Peterson who will visit per multiple reports, perhaps someone who will arrive via trade with the deadline Tuesday afternoon.

But every team in the league has a couple of irreplaceable guys. Henry and Ryan Tannehill and 1 and 1A in Nashville.

If he misses eight to 12 weeks as Dr. David Chao estimated he could be based on the earliest information, he’d possibly be back for the playoffs if the Titans can hold on to get in. Whether he’d be himself upon his re-emergence is a different story.

Vrabel said the team found out after the game there was a bigger issue and dismissed speculation it was a wear-and-tear injury. He said he consulted with the medical staff and with Henry after he was examined in the first quarter with his right shoe off before re-inserting him into the game.

Holding on to get into the playoffs without Henry for a long stretch might qualify as the best coaching work by Mike Vrabel yet.

apple icon 144x144 precomposedWhoever takes over as the lead back and whatever combination of players the Titans use out of the backfield, they are going to have to throw more.

That puts a spotlight on Ryan Tannehill, who suffered a neck injury at the end of regulation on Sunday in Indianapolis and didn’t look great in his press conference after treatment. Vrabel indicated Tannehill is OK.

A healthy Julio Jones is also a necessary ingredient in an adjusted offense.

Tannehill’s neck and Jones’ hamstring rank second and third to Henry’s foot now, and there is increased pressure on the defense to tighten up.

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