Can Colts knocking Derrick Henry out for 2 months change AFC South race?

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 31: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - OCTOBER 31: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The only real competition Carson Wentz and the Indianapolis Colts had for the AFC South title this year came in the form of Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans. With Henry coming off of a 2,000-yard season and the combination of AJ Brown and Julio Jones at wide receiver, this offense looked almost unstoppable.

Due to this collection of talent, Tennessee was able to dispatch Indianapolis in both of their matchups this season. With the Titans sitting pretty at 6-2 and both Jacksonville and Houston struggling with just one win, Tennessee appeared to have this division locked up by Halloween.

That all changed when the Titans got back their medical reports on Monday, however, as Henry suffered a serious foot injury. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that Henry suffered a Jones fracture, meaning that an eight-week recovery time could keep him sidelined until January.

If their 245-pound sledgehammer in the backfield is unable to go for large chunks of the season, does that mean that the Colts have a chance at stealing the division crown away from the Titans?

Will the Colts win the division after Derrick Henry’s injury?

While the Titans have plenty of quality receivers, Henry has more carries than any back in the league this year and accounts for more than a third of the team’s offensive yardage. With backup Darrynton Evans on IR, Tennessee will have to rely on Jeremy McNichols to eat up carries, which isn’t the most sound strategy in the world.

However, the Titans have a very easy schedule coming up, as their next nine games include two matchups against the Texans, a game against the Jets in primetime, and a duel with a Saints team that just lost Jameis Winston. One more game against Urban Meyer and the Jaguars should help their win-loss record, too.

A team that has beaten opponents like the Bills and Chiefs is not to be taken lightly, even without Henry.

The Colts could easily go on a run due to their own easy schedule, but the Titans may have built up too big of an advantage to overcome. With tiebreakers in hand and Indianapolis’ own defensive inconsistency to worry about, Indy needs Tennessee to completely capitulate without Henry in order to have a shot.

The season is by no means over, and with Tennessee lacking their biggest offensive weapon, the Colts could still leapfrog them in the standings because anything is possible. We just wouldn’t bet on it.