Below the Radar: Bears Talk Henry

Since the local newspapers are only concerned with headline stories involving star players, Bear Report digs deeper so you know everything Chicago Bears. What is the reaction to Chris Henry's death?

Corners Bowman, Tillman back on the practice field
Both starting cornerbacks, Zack Bowman and Charles Tillman, were held out of practice Wednesday with an illness and a back injury, respectively, but they returned to action Thursday and are expected to be ready Sunday for the Ravens.

That means fourth-round draft pick D.J. Moore will likely be inactive for the 13th time in 14 games, as the rookie from Vanderbilt is buried deep on the depth chart behind veterans Corey Graham and Nathan Vasher. Given a second-round grade by a lot of talent evaluators this past April, Moore was originally considered a steal in Round 4 and reminded some experts of Vasher, who was a similarly-decorated college player at Texas and also slid to the fourth round. But while Vasher started seven games as a rookie in 2004 and was already a Pro Bowler by '05, Moore is one of four early-Day 2 selections of general manager Jerry Angelo that have given the Bears next to nothing in Year 1: defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert, wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias, defensive end Henry Melton and Moore.

Considering he was thoroughly outplayed in training camp by undrafted free agent Woodny Turenne, who is currently on the practice squad, at this point Moore can't be counted on to be anything but a special teamer in 2010.

WR Chris Henry
AP Images: Tom Uhlman
Henry's passing is sobering news for Briggs, Ogunleye
The NFL fraternity was dealt a big blow Thursday, when Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Henry was pronounced dead the morning after a domestic altercation that saw him reportedly get thrown from the back of a truck driven by his fiancee in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"When I first heard about it, I assumed that he'd make it through that, and maybe I didn't understand the severity of the case," said linebacker Lance Briggs before practice at Halas Hall. "But I think that's just tragic, and I feel for him, his family, the city, that team. You develop close bonds with your teammates, and to have someone die suddenly as young as he is, especially in the way that it happened, it's a sad moment for everyone. So I wish them the best."

Troubled for much of his football career, even going back to his collegiate days at West Virginia, Henry appeared to finally have his life back on the right track after multiple league-mandated suspensions and even getting released by the Bengals – he was brought back to the organization against the wishes of coach Marvin Lewis.

"It's sad," defensive end Adewale Ogunleye said. "It's sobering to have news anytime anybody dies, whether you're an athlete or not. And the way that from what we're hearing he died it's unfortunate, and my heart and prayer goes out to him and his family and hope they're able to get through this."

As recently as Oct. 25, the Bears were defending Henry in a 45-10 loss at Paul Brown Stadium, with the talented 6-4, 200-pounder recording two receptions for 26 yards and a 9-yard touchdown grab.

Jones vs. Benson feud may have been a good thing
Every single player at Halas Hall says without a hint of hestitation this team has great chemistry, both on and off the field, although that certainly hasn't made a difference in what is now a lost season at 5-8.

So maybe it's not such a good idea to have a 53-man roster full of best friends, because that was not the case then the Midway Monsters made their run to Super Bowl XLI. Everybody who was anybody knew running backs Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson didn't care for one another, and there was even an alleged incident with Jones punching Benson after practice one day in 2006. While their distaste for each other didn't necessarily divide the locker room, as most everyone sided with the veteran Jones, perhaps it helped fuel the fire of a running game that was awfully effective down the stretch that season.

Not that the Bears need to go sign the enigmatic Terrell Owens in the offseason or anything, but finding a Reggie Jackson-like straw that can stir the drink might provide a much-needed spark on game day.

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John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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