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Henry Inactive


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Here's the official word:

Despite coming off the two best games of his career, Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry found himself on the sidelines for Sunday’s game here at Paul Brown Stadium against the Patriots.

Head coach Marvin Lewis chose to deactivate Henry six days after he was reportedly in a car driven by Odell Thurman when the middle linebacker was arrested for driving while impaired.

Also inactive is starting strong-side linebacker Rashad Jeanty (ankle), giving Caleb Miller the start.

Henry, who already faces a possible suspension from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, was found with Thurman and fellow receiver Reggie McNeal hours after catching two touchdown passes in Pittsburgh last Sunday. In the game before that, Henry had the first 100-yard game of his career with 113 in the 34-17 win here over Cleveland.

Lewis also sat down McNeal for the second straight week since coming up from the practice squad.

Lewis’ decision on Henry was rendered easier by the presence of wide receiver Antonio Chatman, active for the first time this season Sunday after being hobbled by a groin problem since the first weekend of training camp. The 5-8, 180-pound Chatman, off a 49-catch season in Green Bay last season, is seen as a slot receiver and punt returner, but he has played in only one preseason game.

The Bengals could be seeing what life is going to be like without Henry when Goodell’s ruling comes down. There had been some gray area where Henry stood with the NFL after pleading guilty to a gun charge in Florida on top of his plea to marijuana possession in Kentucky. While two admissions would net a suspension, according to the league’s personal conduct policy, the two charges can also fall into two different categories with one governing substance and alcohol abuse and the other personal conduct.

But when Goodell visited Cincinnati last week, NFL vice president Joe Browne said that Goodell had the final say, and the new commissioner indicated that he would be tough with violators in a statement that didn’t bode well for Henry.

Goodell said the case had yet to reach his desk. If Goodell acts, Henry could be looking at a suspension of one or two games, and maybe more if his DUI case in Clermont County is resolved later this month. That’s the question now. Will Goodell act before the Bengals’ next game _ Oct. 15 in Tampa _ or wait until the Clermont case is resolved? And if he acts, will he follow through on a suspension?


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