With NFL leader Derrick Henry sidelined by a broken right foot, the Tennessee Titans turned to Adrian Peterson, 36, for Sunday’s showdown with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Titans (6-2) and Rams (7-1) each share their conference’s best record, but Tennessee lost Henry last week and he underwent surgery on Tuesday that could end his season.
“It’s a big shock,” said Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill. “We have to keep moving forward as a team, on offense, and find a way to keep playing well.”
Henry, the NFL running champion in each of the past two seasons, has run for a high 937 yards and 10 touchdowns on 219 carries with 18 catches for 154 yards as well.
“He’s putting so much effort into it,” Tannehill said. “That says a lot about him, his tenacity and his will to win. I know that coming back from that, he will be stronger than ever.”
The Titans have signed three-time NFL ground champion Peterson, and he started training Thursday in hopes of keeping the Titans’ formidable ground game against the Rams.
âIt’s a huge addition to be able to add Adrian,â said Tannehill. “The career he has had so far is amazing.”
Peterson ran for 14,820 yards on 3,192 carries with 118 touchdowns during a 14-year NFL career with Minnesota, Arizona, New Orleans, Washington and Detroit.
âDerrick will definitely be missed, but as an offense we have to keep moving forward,â said Tannehill. “We’re going to have to be at our best, there’s no question about it.”
The Dallas Cowboys were without quarterback Dak Prescott last week due to right calf strain, but the 6-1 team will have the star call on Sunday when the Denver Broncos (4-4) visit the Texas.
âI’m not thinking about the leg,â Prescott said. “I don’t think about anything other than the game plan and my preparation.”
Prescott has thrown for 1,813 yards and 16 touchdowns in six games with at least three touchdown passes in his last four starts, a Cowboys record.
Green Bay will be without Aaron Rodgers when the Packers (7-1) visit Kansas City (4-4) after the 37-year-old quarterback enters Covid-19 protocols, but the team has once again welcomed the receiver Davante Adams after missing 10 days with the virus. Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry also returns from a virus hiatus.
“They were excited to be back,” said Packers coach Matt Fleur. “It’s a huge advantage for this team.”
Green Bay will give second-year passer Jordan Love his first NFL start against Chiefs star passer Patrick Mahomes.
Adams has 52 catches for 744 yards and three touchdowns this season.
The other NFL clash involving a 7-1 team sends the Arizona Cardinals off, trying to bounce back from a loss to Green Bay last week, at 3-4 in San Francisco.
– Invoices in the game of the same name –
A quarterback and rival defenseman of the same name will only meet for the fourth time in NFL history on Sunday when Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen leads the Bills (5-2) at Jacksonville (1-6 ) against Jaguar rusher Josh Allen.
Allen of Buffalo was the seventh pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, while the Jaguar was taken seventh the following year.
âWe’ve never met in person,â said Allen of Buffalo. “He’s playing at a very high level.”
Allen leads Jacksonville with 4.5 sacks and hopes to meet Allen in Buffalo backfield.
âI love this challenge,â said Jaguar Allen. “We will pursue them.”
The defensive teams have won all three previous battles of the same name, two in 1950 as Tommy Thompson pitched for Philadelphia against Cleveland and another in 1997 involving Buffalo passer Todd Collins against New England.
Other NFL games find New England at Carolina, Atlanta at New Orleans, Las Vegas at the New York Giants, Houston at Miami, Minnesota at Baltimore, the Los Angeles Chargers at Philadelphia and Cleveland at Cincinnati. Chicago visits Pittsburgh on Monday.