Cincinnati Bengals' Chris Henry Passes Away at the Age of 26

Ryan PickardCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2009

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 27: Chris Henry #15 of the Cincinnati Bengals is pictured during the NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Bengals won 23-20.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NFL lost a dear friend today. Chris Henry, a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, passed away today at the age of 26. Henry was thrown from the back of his pickup truck in what is being described as a domestic dispute.

Henry, who had broke his arm in Week Nine against the Baltimore Ravens, was in Charlotte, NC preparing wedding plans. Henry was to be married in March.

What makes this death so tragic is how young Henry was. He was only 26 and looked like he was going to have a promising career in the NFL. After getting off to a very rocky start, he was just starting to turn his life around.

Henry had a great college career playing wide receiver for the West Virginia Mountaineers. He has the second most touchdown receptions in school history with 22.

He was drafted by the Bengals in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. In his first two years, he finished with six touchdowns and nine touchdowns, respectively.

His troubles started at the beginning of the 2007 season. Henry was suspended for eight games after violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. He returned in Week 10 and finished the season with 343 yards and two touchdowns.

Henry was arrested again in March 2008 for allegedly assaulting a man. After this, the Bengals waived him but eventually resigned him.

He served a four-game suspension to start the 2008 season and Henry finished with 220 yards and two touchdowns.

Beginning this year, Henry had really started to turn his life around. He had stayed out of trouble since his last arrest in late March 2008 and it looked like he was ready to have a breakout season. Carson Palmer even called him a mini Randy Moss.

The Bengals will play the rest of the season with very heavy hearts. Currently they are on top of their division with a 9-4 record and are looking towards the postseason. The loss of a teammate is always difficult, especially with one that has done so much to turn his life around.

I'm sure the Bengals will dedicate the rest of their season to Henry and will do their best to win a championship for him. This is a very sad day in the NFL and goes to show that even superstars aren't invincible.

For all the off-field problems he had, Henry was still a good person. He will be remembered as a son, a brother, and a teammate.