Tennessee Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he isn’t completely ruling out running back DeMarco Murray for this week’s must-win game against Jacksonville.
On the other hand, it appears that Derrick Henry will be asked to carry the bulk of the load for the Titans in the running game on Sunday.
“He hurt his knee but I’m not going to rule him out just yet. The thing with DeMarco – based on some of the other things he’s had happen to him and how quickly he responds to treatment. So, I’d say he’s day-to-day right now and I just hope for the best. Maybe in a limited role, we don’t know yet,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said.
Murray had a hamstring issue that plagued him early in the season, and also battled a previous knee injury, a shoulder injury. Through it all, Murray has not missed a game, and that is part of the reason Mularkey won’t rule him out for Sunday just yet.
“(The injury is) kind of what we expected from preliminary (diagnosis), before the MRI, with what the trainers at least explained to me after the game. Again, he’s just a different guy when it comes to coming back from injury so I just don’t want to rule it out yet. But, about what we expected,” Mularkey said.
Murray’s injury opens the door for Henry the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner to be the bell cow back for the Titans, who need to defeat the Jaguars to reach the postseason for the first time since 2008.
Murray has been the Titans’ primary back this season, logging 184 carries for 659 yards this season and has gotten the bulk of the reps with the Titans’ recent use of the no-huddle offense. With that role likely to fall on Henry now, Mularkey says the second-year pro can handle it.
“We’re very comfortable (with Derrick). We practice it weekly. He gets as many reps as anybody, as DeMarco (Murray). So, we’re very comfortable with him in it,” Mularkey said.
Henry actually leads the team in rushing with 693 yards on just 148 carries this season. As a pass receiver, Henry has just 10 catches this season for 70 yards.
Mularkey also hinted that third-stringer David Fluellen, who was actually on the field instead of Henry for the ill-fated fourth-and-4 play that ended Sunday’s loss to the Rams, would also have a bigger role in the offense if Murray cannot go.
Optimism for Ryan
Cornerback Logan Ryan probably won’t practice Wednesday, according to Mularkey, but could practice later in the week with an eye on returning and playing this week against Jacksonville.
Ryan suffered an ankle injury against the 49ers and missed Sunday’s loss to the Rams.