Friday's NFL: Vrabel says Titans have time to decide on activating Henry
Nashville, Tenn. — Tennessee Titans coach Mike Vrabel says the team has some time to make the decision on moving Derrick Henry from injured reserve back to the active roster.
Vrabel likes what he's seen of the 2020 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year in the three days Henry has practiced.
“I think that he looked good,” Vrabel said Friday. “We continue to track his speed and his mileage and volume and see how he responds. Two days on the turf, we will see where he is at (Saturday) and see how he responds. I feel good about where he is at.”
Henry, who turned 28 on Tuesday, broke his right foot Oct. 31 and had surgery Nov. 2 to repair his fifth metatarsal. Henry led the league with 937 yards rushing when he was put on injured reserve. The NFL’s 2019 and 2020 rushing leader still ranks sixth in the league despite missing eight games.
The Titans (11-5) travel Saturday to Houston for their regular season finale against the Texans (4-12). They need a victory to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC along with a first-round bye that this franchise hasn't earned since 2008.
A winter storm that dropped 6 inches of snow Thursday in Nashville sent the Titans indoors for practice the past two days. Vrabel said practicing indoors wouldn't affect the decision of activating Henry.
“You are still able to do stuff that he would normally do in practice if we were outside,” Vrabel said.
The 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry has been out nine weeks counting the Titans’ bye Dec. 5. Henry is averaging a league-high 117.1 yards a game. He is averaging 4.3 yards per carry with 10 touchdowns rushing.
Henry has 461 yards rushing with five TDs combined in his past two games in Houston.
Jaguars sponsor sues to have name removed from 'clown game'
The title sponsor for Jacksonville's season finale against Indianapolis is suing the Jaguars in hopes of having its name disassociated from the game during which disgruntled fans are planning to dress as clowns to protest team owner Shad Khan's decision to retain general manager Trent Baalke.
RoofClaim.com, a roofing company based in Georgia that does business in Florida, is seeking to avoid "its brand being emphasized as the primary sponsor of the clown game,” according to a complaint filed Thursday in circuit court in Jacksonville.
The company is demanding a jury trial and seeking damages in excess of $30,000. It also wants temporary and permanent injunctive relief from the Jaguars using the RoofClaim brand.
A Jaguars spokesman called the lawsuit “baseless and without merit,” said Friday that the team "will exhaustively protect our interests in this matter at every turn.”
According to the sponsorship agreement attached to the lawsuit, the company signed a four-year deal in August that started at $600,000 annually and increased about $18,000 every year thereafter. The deal includes a provision that would allow RoofClaim to terminate the agreement if Urban Meyer was no longer the team's coach between the end of his third season (2023) and March, 1, 2024.
RoofClaim said it attempted to end its affiliation with the Jaguars the day after Meyer was fired Dec. 15, ending one of the worst coaching tenures in NFL history. The lawsuit says the Jaguars refused and insisted the partnership continue.
The deal guarantees the company a single-game spotlight in each of the four seasons, but the suit argues the Jaguars breached terms of the agreement.
The team “utterly failed to provide the sponsorship benefits outlined in the agreement,” the lawsuit alleges, adding that the Jags breached the deal “by exposing RoofClaim.com’s brand to a toxic marketing environment that will cause irreparable harm.”
Jacksonville's finale will feature a “Klown out” in the stands. Hundreds, if not thousands, of fans are planning to wear clown attire – red noses, colorful wigs, face paint — in hopes of persuading Khan to fire Baalke, whose draft picks have been underwhelming and his free-agent acquisitions less than impactful.
“I understand from a fan’s perspective," rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence said earlier this week. “Would I do that personally? No, I wouldn’t do that. But fans feel how they feel and it’s hard. Like I said, this year’s been disappointing for all of us. We wanted to win a lot more games, so I get the frustration.”
... Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is listed as questionable for the San Francisco 49ers in their crucial season finale against the Los Angeles Rams after missing last week's game with an injured right thumb.
... Three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt has been designated to return from the injured reserve list by the Arizona Cardinals, leaving open the possibility he could boost the team's defense during the playoffs.
The Cardinals made the move Friday and now have 21 days to elevate Watt to the 53-man roster. He can return to practice immediately.
... Lamar Jackson will miss a fourth consecutive game for the Baltimore Ravens to end the regular season.
... New York Giants rookie receiver Kadarius Toney on Friday was ruled out of Sunday's regular-season finale against Washington with a shoulder injury. He'll finish the having played in 10 of 17 games.