Rookie running back Chris Henry might have played his last game for the Titans for a while, depending upon whether he appeals his four-game suspension and the unlikely scenario that he would win that appeal.
Henry learned on Friday that he would be suspended by the NFL for testing positive for a banned supplement. He has until Wednesday to appeal that decision.
Henry returned the opening kickoff 46 yards to the Titans’ 48 yard line and caught a screen pass for 18 yards. He also rushed the ball three times, but had minus-3 yards.
Henry, Tennessee’s second-round draft pick, mostly dodged the issue of the suspension when approached by reporters after Sunday’s 20-7 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
"It’s a league issue. They’re taking care of it right now. Once everything clears, we’ll see where it goes.
“Right now, we’re just taking it a day at a time. We’ll see wherever it goes. It’s being handled by the league right now, and that’s all we can really do,” Henry said.
He said he believes his teammates will stand behind him, despite the potential distraction or short-handedness the incident could cause. Tennessee has been without Chris Brown the past three games because of a high ankle sprain.
“This is a real positive and supporting team. They’re all behind me. Once we figure out everything and where we’re going to go from there, we’ll take care of it,” Henry said.
GETTING CHIPPY: Sunday’s game was physical, perhaps a little too much so at various times in the Titans’ victory over Carolina.
In all, there were eight personal foul penalties called in the game, plus a ninth that was declined because of a simultaneous personal foul that occurred on the play.
Both the Titans and Panthers were flagged four times each for personal foul infractions. In all, each side had 10 penalties, the Panthers piling up 92 yards on penalties, while the Titans were flagged for 89 yards.
On the Panthers’ lone touchdown drive, a 15-yard penalty on Antwan Odom for roughing David Carr, and later Cortland Finnegan’s personal foul hit on Steve Smith away from the play, set Carolina up for Carr’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Drew Carter.
The Finnegan hit came perhaps in retribution for Smith driving Finnegan out of bounds in the first half of the game.
“I think he had more words than I did. He’s definitely a crafty vet,” Finnegan said. “He wants to get inside your head. That’s one of the things he tries to do, and I just look forward to playing against guys like that.
“I was just playing football, more or less. They ran a double slant back side and the quarterback pumped it. So I want to go get him. If it hurts your team, you definitely can’t do it, but it’s just playing football.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher defended Finnegan’s hit.
“I think that probably should not have been called. I will look at that one,” Fisher said.
CHUGGING ALONG: LenDale White only averaged 3.2 yards per carry, but it was enough to earn his third consecutive 100-yard rushing day.
White had just 32 yards at halftime, but ran for 56 of his 100 yards in the final period.
“In the fourth quarter, when you are trying to tackle a 240-pound guy, the up front guys … stepped up and did a great job. When you’ve got those guys leading you through the hole, it makes my job so easy,” White said.
INJURIES: Albert Haynesworth left the game with just over three minutes to play because of a right hamstring strain. Haynesworth missed practice time last week with a left ankle injury.
“I probably pulled my hamstring. I might have to pull another Steve McNair as far as practice goes,” Haynesworth said.
Later in his career with the Titans, McNair would often not practice during the week and then play on Sunday.
Defensive end Travis LaBoy, who had his first career interception, also sustained a concussion. After the game, LaBoy told a reporter that he really didn’t remember much about the game or his first career pick.