Bengals' Henry 'battling for his life'

NFL Notes

December 17, 2009|By From Sun news services

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry is "battling for his life" after falling out of the back of a pickup truck Wednesday during what police described as a domestic dispute with his fiancee.

Henry was found in the road about eight miles north of downtown Charlotte "apparently suffering life-threatening injuries," according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Police spokesman Robert Fey said officers were stationed near the 26-year-old Henry's hospital room. He had no information on Henry's condition, but said he was alive.

"We ask everyone to pray for Chris," agent Andy Simms of PlayersRep Sports said in a statement. "We also ask that you respect the privacy of Chris' family. Chris is indeed battling for his life tonight, and our thoughts and prayers [are] with him during this extremely difficult time."

Police said a dispute began at a home just before noon and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his fiancee - whom they did not identify by name - was driving away from the residence.

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

Henry was found on a residential street about a half mile from the home when police were called to the scene. Fey wouldn't identify the woman and said no charges would be filed Wednesday.

Henry is engaged to Loleini Tonga, and the couple has been raising three children. Tonga's MySpace page identifies herself as "Mrs. C. Henry" and has a picture of her next to a person who appears to be Henry. She also has a post from Tuesday talking about buying wedding rings.

Neighbor Karen Clanton said the Tonga family lives in the house where the police say the incident began, adding that she didn't witness it and that "they're nice folks."

No one answered the door Wednesday night at the two-story home in the modest neighborhood. A limousine was parked in the long driveway, and there were tire tracks on the front lawn.

Henry was away from the team after breaking his left forearm during a win over the Ravens on Nov. 8. He had surgery and was placed on season-ending injured reserve after the game. Charlotte is home to his fiancee's parents.

Henry is in the final year of his contract with the Bengals, who let him go after his fifth arrest after the 2007 season. Owner Mike Brown then brought him back a few months later, signing him to a two-year deal. Henry had stayed out of trouble since his return, turning into a feel-good story that got fans rooting for him.

BROWNS: Mike Holmgren's flirtation with the team dragged on with little word from either side.

Holmgren spent two days talking with the Browns about assuming control of their football operations, but hasn't decided if Cleveland will be his next NFL stop.

The former Seahawks and Packers coach is weighing his options, which could include several other teams in the days and weeks ahead.

He wants to talk to the Seahawks about coming back after general manager Tim Ruskell's recent resignation.

RAIDERS: Charlie Frye waited more than a year for another opportunity to start in the NFL. JaMarcus Russell may find himself in a similar boat.

Frye was picked to start at quarterback over former top overall draft pick Russell when Oakland visits Denver on Sunday.

Coach Tom Cable said Wednesday that Russell will be his No. 2 quarterback, with the newly signed J.P. Losman third.

"As the coach I want to do what I think is best for this team, and that's Charlie Frye," Cable said. "It gives us the best opportunity to win. You watch Charlie every day and his preparation, he just certainly deserves the opportunity."

Frye has not played this year and worked strictly with Oakland's scout team. His last start was for Seattle on Oct. 12, 2008, against Green Bay when he threw for 84 yards and two touchdowns.

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