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Ravens' Monken hopes Henry finishes season with 300 carries

Cooper Neill / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Derrick Henry led the NFL in rushing attempts in four of the last five seasons, and Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken hopes the star running back continues to receive a high number of carries this year.

"I know this: If (Henry) carries it 300 times, we're having a helluva year," Monken recently said, according to team reporter Ryan Mink. "It means we're running it a lot. It means we're up in games. We want him to finish, (and) we want him to be the closer."

Henry, 30, signed a two-year contract with the Ravens this year after spending the last eight seasons with the Titans. In Tennessee, the 2016 second-round pick established himself as one of the NFL's top tailbacks, leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns twice. The 2020 Offensive Player of the Year is one of only eight players in NFL history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season.

The four-time Pro Bowler was the Titans' main weapon over the last five seasons. He carried the ball a league-high 280 times in 2023 and previously topped 300 attempts three times.

Here is a breakdown of Henry's workload since 2019. The former Alabama star missed half of the 2021 campaign due to injury.

Year Carries Games
2019 303 15
2020 378 16
2021 219 9
2022 349 16
2023 280 17

"First and foremost, like every player, we want him to make it through the season. It's a long season - 17 games," Monken added. "So, we'll see how that goes. I mean, he's been so durable."

Gus Edwards - who signed with the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason - led the Ravens with 198 rushing attempts in 2023. Edwards also recorded a team high with 13 rushing scores, while quarterback Lamar Jackson topped Baltimore with 821 yards on the ground. Jackson - who is looking to be "more agile" after losing weight - has led the AFC North club in rushing yards every season since 2019.

The Ravens had an NFL-leading 541 carries in 2023, Monken's first year in town.

"I thought we did a good job last year of rotating the backs. I mean, Gus was powerful, but we split the reps," Monken said. "Now, we had Keaton (Mitchell), who came on, and we had Justice (Hill) and those guys, but I still anticipate the same - of using all of our backs (and) trying to put them in the best position to be successful."

Mitchell - an undrafted rookie last year - was a sensation for Baltimore in the second half of the 2023 season, as he rushed for 396 yards and two touchdowns on just 47 carries in six games - good for 8.4 yards per attempt. However, the 22-year-old sustained a torn ACL in December and isn't expected to be ready for Week 1.

Led by two-time NFL MVP Jackson, the Ravens won the AFC North with a 13-4 record in 2023 but ultimately fell short against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game.

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