There is no replacing Derrick Henry.
But the Tennessee Titans presumably believe there is strength in numbers. That’s why they officially have signed running backs Adrian Peterson and D’Onta Foreman to the practice squad.
The franchise also signed defensive back Nate Brooks and defensive lineman Niles Scott to the practice squad while waiving linebacker Avery Williamson, running back Mekhi Sargent, defensive lineman Caraun Reid and defensive tackle Eli Ankou.
Sargent, who rushed for 187 yards and a touchdown on 49 carries in three preseason games, was released by the Titans for the second time this year. He was also waived on Oct. 23 but signed to the practice squad three days later.
Peterson’s resume has been well documented, and he is expected to be on Tennessee’s active roster for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Peterson appears to still have something left in the tank after starting 10 games for the Detroit Lions last season, rushing for 604 yards and seven touchdowns on 156 carries. However, it seems unreasonable to expect a 36-year-old running back who hasn’t played since Jan. 3 to be a major factor against one of the NFL’s top defenses — one that added linebacker Von Miller on Monday. Still, Peterson, who has five days to learn Tennessee’s play book, could be a nice complementary piece behind Jeremy McNichols.
“[Peterson’s] been a great player throughout his career, and will be a Hall of Famer one day,” Titans running backs coach Tony Dews said. “My job is to get him up to speed, and whatever he can do to help the team win. He’ll go out and do what he does best. He’s an ultimate pro, and he’s done it a long time. We’ll just get out on the field and see what we can do.”
Foreman isn’t as decorated as Peterson, but at 6-foot-1 and 236 pounds, his building is the most similar to that of Henry. And Foreman plays a physical, grinding style like Henry as well.
It’s Foreman’s second go-around with the Titans after serving as Henry’s backup for six games last season, rushing for 95 yards on 22 carries. In his three-year career, Foreman has 421 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 17 games.
It’s not known if Foreman will remain on the Titans’ practice squad or serve as the team’s third running back.
“He did a good job for us [previously],” Dews said. “He was able to get in a couple of games for us while he was here. So, certainly it helps that he has some familiarity with the offense and what we have been doing. That will help him. He’s a big back, he has some shiftiness, and some physicality to him. He should be able to recall some stuff. But again, he has been away with us for a little bit. Until we get on the field and see what it looks like, I’m not sure.”
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