Derrick Henry, RB
When you look at Henry and his career accomplishments, it is hard to say he has much more to prove from an individual standpoint. But everyone reading this knows the reason he is on this list — he is coming back from the first major injury in his career.
While he did come back to play in the Titans’ lone playoff game last year and did not do well, we can definitely give him a pass since it was his first game back from the injury. As the new year begins, we will have a fair look at how he can respond to the biggest adversity he has ever faced.
If he were to never be the same player he once was, nobody could blame him, especially since his past achievements are hard enough to repeat to begin with. But this is King Henry, and with him, you can never truly rule out anything.
Heck, before his injury last year, he was on pace to rush for 2000 yards for the second straight season, a feat that can still be considered near impossible in this day and age. And even if he sees a dip in his production, which is still the most likely outcome, a player of his caliber is likely to rush for 1,500-1,700 yards.
That is more than good enough to still be considered one of the elite players at his position, and very well might be good enough to be the NFL’s leading rusher for the third time in four years.
We know he is still working hard and has the speed and bruising ability that he has made a killing off of in his career. But even for Henry, how he can rebound from last season is a major unknown because you can only overcome so much at a certain point.