NFL Insider Lists Seahawks RB as Potential Derrick Henry Replacement

Rashaad Penny

Getty Rashaad Penny could be a trade target for the Titans.

The Tennessee Titans lost a key piece of the offense on Monday, November 1, with the news that Derrick Henry will undergo surgery on his foot. Now an ESPN insider has suggested that Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny could help fill the sizable void.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted out a list of running backs that would potentially be available via trade following the news that Henry will miss a considerable amount of time. He listed Penny as one of the options, along with Ronald Jones and Mike Davis among others. Schefter listed the potential availability based on depth chart location or the respective player’s standing with their team.

Penny, a former first-round pick, isn’t the starter in Seattle despite Chris Carson remaining on Injured Reserve. He missed Weeks 2-6 while on Injured Reserve with a lingering calf injury, but he returned to face the Saints and Jaguars while serving as the backup to Alex Collins.

The Titans took one step to replace Henry with a roster move on November 1. According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the team signed seven-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson to the practice squad with the goal of elevating him to the active roster. The former Vikings’ first-round pick later confirmed the news with a tweet of his own.

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The Titans Could Take a Multi-Back Approach

Adding All Day to the roster indicates that he will be the starter moving forward. Peterson’s strength has always been on early downs when can focus on hammering the defense rather than catching passes out of the backfield as a third-down option. However, he is also 36 years old, so the Titans may take a different approach to fill the void left by Henry.

The two-time rushing champion has been the driving force behind the Tennessee offense. He has won consecutive rushing titles while tallying 1,540 and 2,027 yards in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Henry also led the league with 16 rushing touchdowns in 2019 and 17 in 2020.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the former Alabama running back has accounted for 79.3% of his team’s rushing yards while leading the league once again. Henry has rushed for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns during the first eight weeks of the season, averaging 117.1 per game.

Peterson is a former 2,000-yard rusher with an MVP award on his career resume. He is also fifth on the all-time rushing yards list with 14,820 yards. He can pass Barry Sanders with 450 yards, but he may need someone to step and spell him occasionally. Penny has served this role with the Seahawks, and he could do so with the Titans.

This Move Makes Sense Based on Penny’s Usage

With Carson out for an indefinite amount of time, there are questions about why the Seahawks would even consider trading a running back if the Titans came calling. One potential reason is that there are multiple options to replace him on the depth chart. Penny also hasn’t been a major part of the offense since his return from Injured Reserve.

According to the snap counts from October 31, Penny played 11 snaps during the 31-7 win over the Jaguars. He logged seven carries for a total of seven yards. Collins was on the field for 27 plays while Travis Homer took over for 17 plays. DeeJay Dallas logged two plays of his own.

The major difference between Homer and Penny is that the former first-round pick only appeared on offense. Penny did not contribute on special teams. Homer, on the other hand, had 17 special teams snaps, and he returned an onside kick 44 yards for a game-sealing touchdown.

According to the snap counts, Penny had a larger role against the Saints as Collins dealt with a groin injury. He logged 20 snaps and accounted for nine yards on six carries. Collins appeared on 22 plays and registered 17 touches for 44 yards. Homer had 12 snaps on offense with one carry for 14 yards.

Collins continues to be the top running back while Carson remains out of action while Penny has seen his snaps decrease. If Homer continues to play a larger role, he could make his fellow running back expendable.

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