When Derrick Henry takes his first snap against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans running back will achieve a milestone that very few players in the NFL can claim.
Over the course of his now eight-year career, Henry has done a great job building a Hall of Fame resume. Most notably, Henry had over 2,000 rushing yards in 2020 which would have earned him the MVP if that award hadn't already become an award only given to quarterbacks.
He has been the most dominant running back in the NFL for nearly half a decade. He led the NFL in both rushing touchdowns and rushing yards in two of the last four seasons. He has also tied the NFL record for 200+ yard rushing games in a career, and only three players in NFL history have more yards per attempt than Henry through their first seven seasons and they are all Hall of Famers: Jim Brown, Adrian Peterson, and Barry Sanders (minimum of 7,000 rushing yards).
This season he will be chasing franchise records with a franchise that has the best running back Mount Rushmore in the NFL with Earl Campbell, Eddie George, Derrick Henry, and Chris Johnson. With 250 yards he will pass Earl Campbell for career rushing yards with the Titans/Oilers, and if he can reach 1,675 yards he will pass Eddie George.
Those are all things to monitor throughout the year as Henry continues to build that Hall of Fame resume, but he will be able to achieve one milestone this Sunday.
Every team has seen Derrick Henry
After his first snap on Sunday, Derrick Henry will have played against every team in the NFL aside from the team that drafted him.
Despite having the New Orleans Saints on the schedule twice, Henry was held out against the Saints in 2019 to make sure that he was ready for the Tennessee Titans playoff run, and in 2021 he missed that game because of the one serious injury that he has had over the course of his entire career.
This is a difficult thing to do because it means that a few things have to happen. First, you have to play with the same team for at least four years. Considering that the NFL cycles through matchups between the AFC/NFC North, South, East, and West every season, you have to make sure that you get to see each division in the opposing conference.
You also have to stay healthy for all of those games AND start from Week 1 because if you miss one game, you might be stuck waiting for the cycle to repeat in four years. Again, think about how durable Derrick Henry has been with just one real injury at the NFL level, and it took him eight years to do this.
It won't do anything for his Hall of Fame resume, but it is a fun way to get a star player motivated early in the season. Tennessee Titans fans are excited to see him play against his 31st team, but they also really hope that he never gets to play that 32nd team.