Tennessee Titans: Breakout players this team should build around

Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Titans (Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jeremy McNichols #28, Tennessee Titans
Jeremy McNichols #28, Tennessee Titans (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

player. 35. . . . Jeremy McNichols. 28

Tennessee Titans running back Jeremy McNichols

For most of the offseason, anytime anyone released a Tennessee Titans 53-man roster projection, regardless of the fact that we hadn’t seen him, Jeremy McNichols was on it.

There’s a lot of talk about Derrick Henry‘s brilliance and rightfully so, but the long-term success of this football team could hinge on whether or not the two-tone blue can find ways to spell The King to keep him fresh as the season moves along.

Yes, Henry is the workhorse, and it’s hard to construct arguments that say his team should give him the ball less often, but he’s on pace to shatter the single-season NFL record for carries in a season. This after he carried the ball 782 times over the course of the 2019 and 2020 seasons (that number includes 101 carries in the postseason over that same stretch).

That’s a ton of work and wear and tear on your best player.

McNichols can help ease the burden. Most of his production has come as a receiver (15 snags for 134 yards and a touchdown), but he’s also done some work in Tennessee’s running game (29 yards on six carries). That’s an average of just under five yards per rush. Maybe Tennessee should give him a few more carries.