At 30 years old, Derrick Henry has this physical status:
Henry played college football for the University of Alabama from 2013 to 2015 under new head coach Nick Saban. He was interested in collaborating. He graduated on May 4, 2018. He published an article in The Players' Tribune on the same day as his late grandmother, who provided the inspiration to continue studying his degree.
In a backfield largely dominated by T. J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake, Henry ran for 382 yards on 36 attempts with three touchdowns. In the 52–0 victory, he had 111 passing yards and his first collegiate rushing touchdown on October 19, against Arkansas. In the 45-31 loss to the Oklahoma Sooners, he rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and had a 61-yard touchdown reception. Pablo Viruega, a Spanish-language broadcaster on ESPN Deportes, dubbed him "El Tractorcito" (The Little Tractor) for his long stride and quick gait in that game. The nickname became a common internet meme.
Henry and Yeldon split the majority of the backfield jobs in the 2014 season. In the 33–23 victory over West Virginia in the season opener, he had 113 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. In the 42–21 victory over Florida, he had 111 passing yards and a rushing touchdown. In the 59-0 victory over Texas A&M on October 18, he had 70 rushing yards, one running touchdown, and a 41-yard touchdown. In the 48-14 victory over Western Carolina, he had 92 passing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and a nine-yard touchdown. In the high-scoring 55–44 installment of the rivalry, he had 72 passing yards and a touchdown. In the 42–13 victory over Missouri, he had 141 passing yards and two running touchdowns. Alabama qualified for the College Football Playoff and advanced to the National Semifinals in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio State. As Alabama defeated the Buckeyes 42-35, Henry had 95 passing yards, one rushing touchdown, and two receptions for 54 yards. Henry Rush rushed for 990 yards on 172 passes with 11 touchdowns in his sophomore year.
Henry took over as the starting running back as a youth in 2015 after Yeldon's departure for the NFL. In the 35–17 victory over Wisconsin, he had 147 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns. In the 37–10 victory over Middle Tennessee State, he had 96 passing yards and another game with three rushing touchdowns. In Alabama's first loss of the season, he had 127 passing yards, one rushing touchdown, and five receptions for 39 yards in the upcoming game against Ole Miss, a 43–37 draw. In a 38-10 win over previously undefeated Georgia, he had 148 passing yards and a touchdown against Louisiana–Monroe. In a 27-14 victory over Arkansas on October 10, he rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown. He went on a remarkable run after winning over the Razorbacks. In a 41-23 victory over Texas A&M, he had 236 running yards, two rushing touchdowns, and an 18-yard reception. He had 143 passing yards and two running touchdowns in the next game, a narrow 19–14 victory over Tennessee. In the 30–16 victory over the previously undefeated team, he had 210 passing yards and three touchdowns in the following game, a much-anticipated matchup with fellow Heisman contender Leonard Fournette of LSU. In the 31–6 victory over Mississippi State, he had 204 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns. In the next game against Charleston Southern, he had 68 passing yards and two more rushing touchdowns, but he was only involved in the 56–6 win. In the 29–13 victory over Auburn, he had 271 passing yards and a rushing touchdown on 46 attempts. In the 29–15 victory over Florida, he had 44 carries for 189 yards and a touchdown. Alabama qualified for the College Football Playoff and met Michigan State in the National Semifinals. In the 38–0 win over the Spartans in the Cotton Bowl, he had 75 passing yards and two rushing touchdowns. During Alabama's 45–40 victory over Clemson in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship, he rushed for 158 yards on 36 passes with three touchdowns. During the game, Shaun Alexander set a new record for the most career rushing yards in Alabama history. He was playing in all 15 games for SEC records of 2,219 yards and 28 touchdowns on 395 attempts. In addition,, he scored at least one touchdown in each game. He led the NCAA in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and points scored. Henry won the Heisman Trophy after defeating finalists Christian McCaffrey and Deshaun Watson. Among other accolades, including the Doak Walker Award, Walter Camp Award, and Maxwell Award, he received several others. After his junior season, Henry declared himself for the 2016 NFL Draft.
Henry was projected by the majority of analysts to be either drafted in the late first or second round after coming out of Alabama. Scouts praised his big frame, his athleticism, ability to crack tackles with ease, speed, long strides, and consistent play. The key questions, according to the wear and tear of his body as a workhorse at Alabama, were concerns regarding his body's wear and tear, average foot speed, below-average catching ability, narrow based running style, sluggish cutbacks, and running tall.
In the second round (45th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft, Henry was drafted by the Tennessee Titans. After #4 Ezekiel Elliott, he was the second running back he had taken this year. Jalston Fowler, a former fullback for Alabama, was reunited with him.
The Tennessee Titans announced Henry to a four-year, $5.40 million deal, with a three-year deal and a signing bonus of $2.13 million.
Henry was the backup running back to veteran DeMarco Murray in his rookie season. He wore the No. 6 during his tenure as the No. 0 in the United States. During training camp and preseason, two jerseys were worn by the No. 2 and the No. Dexter McCluster, a former running back, was suspended on September 2, 2016.
Henry made his NFL debut and made his first NFL appearance in the Titans' season-opening loss to the Minnesota Vikings. He had five carries for three yards and two receptions for 41 yards during the game. In a 36-22 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henry scored his first NFL touchdown on a 6-yard rush in Week 8. He finished the game with 16 carries for a career-high 60 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, as well as four catches for 37 yards. In a 19–17 road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on December 18, 2016, he had nine rushing attempts for 58 yards and a season-high two rushing touchdowns. In the 24–17 victory over the Houston Texans, he ran for a then-career-high 65 rushing yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown.
Henry finished his rookie season with 110 passes for 490 yards (both sixth among NFL rookies in 2016) and five touchdowns in 15 games and two starts. He has also passed for 137 yards on 13 passes.
Henry split carries DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota for the most part of the 2017 season. In a 37–16 road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2, Henry ran for 92 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. Henry ran for a then-best 131 yards on 19 carries, with one intercepting a 72-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter of the 36-32 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. In addition,, he had a 14-yard reception in the victory. Henry ran for 109 yards on 11 runs and finished with his longest rush of the year after scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of the 24–13 victory over the Houston Texans. Henry scored his first receiving touchdown on a 66-yard reception from Marcus Mariota in the 15–10 win in the regular season finale against the Jaguars.
The Titans finished second in the AFC South on a 9–7 record and made the playoffs as a Wild Card team. The Titans defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round. Henry got off to a good start because DeMarco Murray was out with a knee injury. Henry had the best show of his career up to that point, rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown on 23 attempts and receiving two passes for 35 yards in a 22-21 road victory. His 191 yards-from-scrimmage was a franchise record. Henry had 28 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards in the 35–14 road loss in the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots.
Henry played in 15 games and two starts during the regular season, totaling 744 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. Henry ran for 184 yards and a touchdown on 35 attempts and caught five passes for 56 yards in the postseason.
Matt LaFleur was hired as the Titans' new offensive coordinator in the 2018 offseason, and the team also acquired running back Dion Lewis. Lewis' pass-catching skills was seen as a good match for LaFleur's offensive scheme, which often used running backs to catch passes out of the backfield, as well as the success with Todd Gurley as offensive coordinator for the Rams in the previous season. LaFleur is thought to have preferred Lewis over Henry, which led to rumors that LaFleur would favour Lewis over Henry.
For the majority of the 2018 season, Henry split carries with Lewis and run-oriented quarterback Marcus Mariota. In the Titans' 20-17 victory over the Houston Texans, Henry finished with an eight-yard pass completion, his first of his career. wide receiver Taywan Taylor was also on the track for eight yards in Week 2. He had 18 passes in the game and the one against the Jacksonville Jaguars the next year, but he was less active in the middle of the season.
Henry averaged nine yards per game from Weeks 4-13, with no rushers over 60 yards. This all changed against the Jaguars in Week 14. Henry had a 99-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, fending off three tacklers, tying him with Tony Dorsett for the longest NFL touchdown run. He finished the game with four rushing touchdowns and 238 rushing yards on 17 carries, defeating Chris Johnson's franchise record of 228 yards on 17 carries. He became the first NFL quarterback to play in a 200+ yard and 4+ touchdown game on fewer than 22 carries in history. His 238 passing yards were the most by any player for a single game on the 2018 season. Due to Henry's spectacular appearance, he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. The Titans went on the road against the New York Giants during Week 15. Henry led the NFL in rushes for the second week in a row, with 170 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 33 attempts, as well as a one-yard pass completion in the 17-0 shutout. In Weeks 16 and 17, he finished with 177 passing yards and a touchdown. In December, he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for the Month.
Henry had 1,059 passing yards and 12 touchdowns, as well as 15 touchdowns for 99 yards. He ranked 99th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2019.
Henry rushed 19 times for 84 yards and a touchdown in the 2019 season opener against the Cleveland Browns. The Titans also won on the road 43-13 after getting one pass for a 75-yard touchdown. As the Titans barely lost 19-17, he rushed 15 times for 81 yards and a touchdown during Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts. Henry was rushing for 100 yards on 27 carries in a 24–10 road victory against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, his first 100-yard game of the season. In the Titans' next game against the Buffalo Bills, he rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown. Henry fell to 12th in the league in rushing after a season-low 28 yards in a Week 6 shutout loss to Denver, over 200 yards behind the league's leaders. In a 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 7, Henry responded with 90 passing yards and a touchdown. Henry rushed 13 times for 63 yards and a touchdown in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers, grabbing three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown. The Titans barely won 35–32 after he finished with 188 passing yards and two touchdowns in their next game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Henry was named FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his efforts. Henry had a 74-yard rushing touchdown in Week 12 after a Week 11 bye. He had 159 passing yards and two touchdowns as well as one reception for 16 yards, leading to a 42–20 win. In the 31-17 road win, he rushed 26 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. Henry ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the 42-21 road victory over the Oakland Raiders on Week 14. Henry had 211 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Houston Texans in the Titans' regular-season finale, defeating the Houston Texans 34-34 and making it to the playoffs as a Wild Card team. Henry barely won the 2019 rushing title over Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns barely escaped, with the winning rush being a 53-yard touchdown pass. This was Henry's first rush crown and the first Titan to win it since Chris Johnson in 2009.
Henry finished the regular season with 303, rushing yards with 1,540, and rushing touchdowns with 16, all leading the league, despite only playing in 15 games and missing the Week 16 game against the New Orleans Saints due to a hamstring injury. With 16, receiving yards for 206 yards and two touchdowns, he set career-highs in receptions, including two touchdowns. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl on December 17, 2019. He was named to the second-team All-Pro on January 3, 2020, both at the running back and flex positions, behind Christian McCaffrey. He was ranked tenth by this group on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2020.
The Titans just barely secured a wild card spot for the #6 seed after the season 9–7. Henry rushed for over 100 yards and a touchdown in the first half of the 20–13 road victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, who were playing on his 26th birthday and the third most ever against a Bill Belichick-led squad, as the first in a playoff game) and a 22-yard reception. Henry was the first rushing champion since Terrell Davis in 1998, the first to win a playoff game since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2007, and the second Titan with multiple post-season 100+ rushing games. With 204, he also tied for the most yards-from-scrimmage. Henry rushed 30 times for 195 yards and throw a three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Corey Davis in the 28–12 road victory. Terrell Davis, the second player in NFL history with three games with at least 150 rushing yards, followed him. In addition,, he was the only player with at least 175 rushing yards in consecutive games. Davis is the only other male to play two similar games in a career. Henry was mostly held in check during the AFC Championship match against the Chiefs. In the 35–24 road loss, he rushed 19 times for 69 yards and a touchdown.
The Titans branded Henry on March 16, 2020. On April 2, 2020, he took the tag. On July 15, 2020, Henry agreed to a new four-year deal with the team.
Henry was limited to less than 3.7 yards per carry for the first four weeks of the 2020 season, despite leading the league in rushing yards for the majority of the first four weeks. Henry finished with 212 passing yards, 52 receiving yards, and two touchdowns in week 6 against the Houston Texans, with one rushing touchdown. In overtime, he led the game with a five-yard touchdown to end the game as the Titans defeated 42–36. For his work in Week 6, Henry was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. After racking up 399 scrimmage yards with 344 yards rushing and five touchdowns, he was also named AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October. He ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on week 8-31-20 road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Henry had 133 passing yards and the game-winning touchdown in overtime to beat the Ravens 30–24 on Week 11. Henry had 27 carries for 178 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts on Week 26, defeating them 45–26 on the road. During Week 14 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henry rushed 26 times for 215 yards and two touchdowns. During the 46–25 victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 15, Henry rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown. During the 41-38 road victory over the Houston Texans, Henry rushed for a career-high 250 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Henry was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Henry became the eighth running back in NFL history to pass over 2,000 yards during the game. He was also the only player to have 2,000 yards in high school, college, and the NFL. Henry also set career highs in carries (378), yards-per-carry (5.4), and rushing touchdowns (17) in addition to his 2,027 passing yards. At the tenth Annual NFL Honors, he was named the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year. He was ranked fourth by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2021.
Henry was held without a single first down in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs against the Ravens. During the 20–13 loss, he was limited to 40 yards on 18 passes (2.2 yards-per-carry) and three receptions for 11 yards (3.2 yards-per-carry).
Henry started the season slow and limited to only 58 yards as the Titans lost to the Arizona Cardinals 38-13. The Titans defeated the Seattle Seahawks 33-31 in overtime during Week 2 on Sunday. Henry had 182 passing yards, 55 receiving yards, and three rushing touchdowns. For Week 2, he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. In Week 6, Henry ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-31 victory over the Bills, winning his second AFC Offensive Player of the Week honor of the year.
Henry sustained a Jones fracture in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts, which would keep him sidelined for the remainder of the regular season. On November 1, he was put on sick reserve. Henry was leading the way in carries, passing yards, and rushing touchdowns before his injury, and he was on a collision course to break the NFL rushing record. Henry was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2021 by the Titans.
On January 21, 2022, Henry was activated from injured reserve for the team's Divisonal Round match against the Cincinnati Bengals. Henry had 20 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown in the Titans' 19–16 loss, as well as a rushing touchdown.
Henry is much bigger than most running backs and has a frame similar to a linebacker. Henry is a "power back," who is known for his ability to defuse defenders and break tackles. He accumulated 1,073 yards after contact in 2020, more than any running back in the league, and he led the league in broken tackles with 34. He combines his strength and size with a surprising speed relative to his height. Henry is also well-known for his stiff-arm, which he has been able to use to intimidate defenders. Henry's playing style compares to those of smaller, so-called "scat backs" who are more elusive due to their ability to change directions as a power back. Henry has never more than 20 passes in a season, but he makes up for his lack of efficiency as a pass-catcher by being a pure runner.
Henry has a tendency to get better, particularly in yards per carry, over the later stages of a game, as his stamina and toughness wears down opponents. Henry's ongoing running game has also contributed to the offense's success with play-action.