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Friday, December 18, 2009

Report: WR Henry Seriously Hurt In Accident

Report: WR Henry Seriously Hurt In Accident

The sad saga of troubled receiver Chris Henry took a turn for the worse on Wednesday when he reportedly fell out of the bed of a speeding pickup truck and was found in the middle of the road near Charlotte, N.C., by police following a domestic dispute.

According to published reports in Charlotte, N.C., Bengals receiver Chris Henry suffered serious, life-threatening injuries on Wednesday following what has been described as a domestic dispute with his fiance.

Henry, out for the season with a broken left forearm is “battling for his life” after falling out of the back of a pickup truck, said police. Henry was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, where his condition was not immediately known.

According to a report, Henry was found in the road in south Charlotte “apparently suffering life-threatening injuries,” according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Police spokesman Robert Fey told reporters officers were stationed near the 26-year-old Henry’s hospital room. Fey told reporters he had no information on Henry’s condition, but said he was alive.

Said Henry's agent Andy Simms of PlayersRep Sports in a statement: “Chris is indeed battling for his life tonight, and our thoughts and prayers (are) with him during this extremely difficult time.”

Charlotte police said a dispute began at a home just before noon and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his fiancee, who was not identified, drove away from the residence.

“The domestic situation continued between the operator and Mr. Henry,” said the police in a statement. “At some point while she was driving, Mr. Henry came out of the back of the vehicle.”

According to reports, Henry was found on a residential street about half a mile from the home when police were called to the scene.

Henry, who was away from the team after breaking his arm Nov. 8 during a win against Baltimore and is in the final year of his Bengals contract, is engaged to Loleini Tonga. She is from Charlotte, where the couple are raising three children, according to reports.

Bengals team spokesman Jack Brennan told a reporter, "We are aware (Henry) was in an accident and that his injuries are very serious. We are staying in touch with the situation and are ready to offer whatever assistance we can.”

Henry was brought back to the team following his fifth arrest after the conclusion of the 2007 season. From all appearances, he was leading a quieter life after receiving a second lease on his NFL career by team president Mike Brown, who wanted Henry back over the objections of head coach Marvin Lewis. Since his return, Henry had stayed out of trouble with police.


Soon after the Bengals lost 30-10 at Minnesota, questions continued to linger about Cincinnati's lack of a vertical passing game.

While Minnesota's defense contributed a bit toward the offense's struggles, a lot of it can be attributed to something else more immediate -- the Bengals themselves.

The precipitous drop in the passing game has been striking. In the first seven games, Carson Palmer was averaging 229.7 yards per game. In the last six, he's averaging just 172.2.

"We've got to do a better job of executing," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "We have to protect. We have to be in the right spots at the right depths and give the opportunity to the quarterback, and I think we've got to go back and do a better job of manufacturing some balls down the field."

Against the Vikings, five offensive penalties and a lack of consistency in blocking and the running game also played huge roles in why Palmer had the second-worst yardage game of his career when he has played most of the game.

Palmer knows that the 9-4 Bengals will need to do a better job of getting things downfield if they are to defeat 10-3 San Diego in a key AFC contest. The winner of Sunday's game most likely will be the conference's second seed in the playoffs.

In three of the past five games, Palmer has had fewer than 200 yards passing. While the Bengals have become primarily a running team, they still need to get the ball to Chad Ochocinco and Andre Caldwell to prevent teams from loading up in the box and teeing off on the running game.

"You can always improve, but we're not going to change what we do," Palmer said. "We're on the top of our division and control our destiny. After one loss, there's no reason to say we're going to become a passing team. We're a running team and proved that."


Larry Johnson got in for three series against the Vikings, but coach Marvin Lewis would like to see a little more of Johnson mostly to keep Cedric Benson fresh if the Bengals get to the playoffs.

"(Offensive coordinator) Bob (Bratkowski) and I talked before I came downstairs, that we have to be mindful. I'll tie a rubber band to my ankle or wrist or something to remind us to get him some more opportunity and so forth to keep Ced fresh and keep going forward that way," Lewis said. "It's good for Larry, it gives us good balance and an opportunity to keep expanding and understanding."

Benson had 16 carries for 96 yards Sunday, while Johnson had three for 4 yards.

The Bengals have named G Bobbie Williams as the recipient of this year’s Ed Block Courage Award.

The award honors players who demonstrate commitment to the values of sportsmanship and courage. Each NFL team selects one player as its nominee. Williams will be honored with other teams’ recipients at the annual awards banquet in Baltimore at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season.

Known for his leadership, determination and outgoing nature, Williams has been a pillar of the Bengals’ locker room since joining the team as an unrestricted free agent in 2004. He has never missed a Bengals game to a football-related injury, as his only three missed games were due to an emergency appendectomy in 2006.

“Bobbie has proven to be durable and tough,” said Paul Sparling, Bengals head athletic trainer. “He always has a positive attitude and understands the real meaning of being a professional. He is an inspiration to us all.”

Williams has started all 13 games at RG this season for the Bengals, playing a key role in helping develop one of the NFL’s top rushing offenses.

He entered the league in 2000 as a second-round draft pick of Philadelphia, where he spent four seasons. Since signing with the Bengals in 2004, he has started 91 of 94 possible games, including the postseason.

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