Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry passes test with contact practice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry took another step toward being activated before the team's NFL divisional playoff matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday.

The Titans held a padded practice Tuesday and had some of the defensive players bang into Henry as he went through drills during the individual period of practice with the running backs. Coach Mike Vrabel said they wanted to replicate some of the things Henry would be asked to do if he played in a game.

"I felt great," Henry said Wednesday. "I just wanted to get some pads on. Haven't them on in a while and got some contact going."

Henry was placed on injured reserve Nov. 1 because of a fractured foot he suffered in the team's 34-31 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8.

Henry responded well to the contact in practice -- a key checkpoint in his recovery process. But the Titans want to see him participate in the rest of the practices this week before they decide whether to activate him, Vrabel said Tuesday.

Their decision is expected to be made Friday ahead of Saturday's game.

"It has been a while since he has had contact," Vrabel said. "We will have a week of work, see how he feels, and make a decision."

When asked if he would be activated for the game on Sunday, Henry smiled and said, "We'll see how this week goes."

Henry said there is no difference between his left foot or the right foot other than the steel plate he now has in his right foot. The main thing for him was to get back onto the field and reacclimated to playing football.

Offensive coordinator Todd Downing said that things have been "progressing encouragingly" and that, if he's given the green light that Henry will be playing, they'll monitor how he progresses during the game. Downing acknowledged that the flow of the game could also dictate how much Henry plays -- if he's active.

Tennessee designated Henry for return to practice from injured reserve on Jan 5. The designation opened a 21-day window for Henry to be added to the 53-man active roster.

Despite missing eight games, Henry has 937 rushing yards, which ranks sixth among all running backs this season. When he got injured, he was the NFL's leading rusher.