If you haven’t heard yet, Cincinnati Bengals’ Wide Receiver Chris Henry passed away today following life-threatening injuries he received on 12/16/09. During a domestic dispute with his fiancee, he jumped into the back of her truck as she was driving away from her house. Soon after, he was discovered laying in the road after falling out of the trucks bed.
This tragic death marks the end of a challenging life Chris led during his college and professional football career. Between suspensions and ejections during college games, Chris had troubles finding a team to call his own. The Bengals ended up drafting him in 2005, hoping that they would be able to help Chris mature both in his role and character. He had a good start in his rookie year until suffering a season-ending knee injury. Chis was also arrested for possession of marijuana and driving without a license that year.
In 2006, Chris found himself in trouble over gun possession law violations and aggravated assault. His on-and-off field transgressions earned him a half-season suspension. 2007 was no better, with him getting in trouble for drunk driving as well as providing alcohol to underage women (one woman claimed she was assaulted, but later changed her story). The Bengals grew tired of the headaches Chris brought to the team, and waived him in the off-season.
He was given a second (or you might say third) chance when the team brought him back on board in 2008. The coaches and players observed a man in transition – trying to mature and put away his wild side. After his return, his run-ins with the law stopped, and his name disappeared from the headlines.
All seemed to be on the right track for Chris until he broke his arm during a game in November. Being placed on injured reserve meant he was without his team and support group, possibly leading up to the incident on Wednesday. As Bengals owner Mike Brown said today following the announcement of his death:
He had worked through the troubles in his life and had finally seemingly reached the point where everything was going to blossom. And he was going to have the future we all wanted for him. It’s painful to us. We feel it in our hearts, and we will miss him.
Our prayers go out to Chris, his children, his fiancee, and their families, as well as the Cincinnati Bengals.