|Broncos RB Henry optimistic he will play Sunday, WR Walker is out|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 05 October 2007 13:40|
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Travis Henry returned to the field Friday for practice amid uncertainty over his future with the Denver Broncos.|
Henry, the NFL's leading rusher, is trying to prevent the league from suspending him over the results of a drug test, according to federal court records. He said he couldn't comment on the case on the advice of his attorney.
``If you got any football questions, I'm more than willing to answer,'' Henry said.
Henry plans to play Sunday against San Diego. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan thought that was a strong possibility, as long as Henry's injured right ankle and knee are up to it.
Henry, listed as questionable on the injury report, was back at practice Friday for the first time since injuring his leg against Indianapolis last week.
``If there is no setback with where he's at, he will play,'' Shanahan said.
However, Broncos receiver Javon Walker will not play against the Chargers, Shanahan said. Walker still has swelling in his surgically repaired right knee. He thought he'd be ready for the Pittsburgh game Oct. 21. The Broncos have a bye week after San Diego.
``Sometimes the best thing for healing is not treatment but just time,'' Walker said.
Shanahan said Henry dropped by his house Thursday night and they chatted about the incident for around an hour. But he couldn't go into details about the conversation per NFL policy.
``Obviously, this is a very touchy situation,'' Shanahan said. ``I can't go into as much detail as I'd like to. Let's let the due process take care of itself and I can explain the conversation I had and I can shoot you guys straight.''
Henry was granted a temporary restraining order in Suffolk County (N.Y.) Supreme Court to prevent the league from using a urine specimen against him and to prevent the league from disclosing the test results. But an appellate court vacated the order, according to court papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.
His attorney, Robert Dapelo, declined to comment. Hadley Engelhard, Henry's agent, didn't return an e-mail seeking comment.
A Newsday report said Henry claims the league violated its substance abuse policy by not allowing his experts to be present for testing of his urine sample, according to the court report.
An NFL spokesman had no comment on the case.
Walker stuck up for Henry on Friday and cautioned about reading too much into the situation.
``Nobody really knows the extent of it,'' Walker said. ``We all trust Travis. Everybody on this team supports Travis. It's funny how a lot of things get blown out of proportion before everybody really knows what happens. He'll be with us the whole year. We're going to try to finish this thing strong.''
Walker thought Henry would be vindicated in the end.
``We already know what the situation is,'' Walker said. ``That will get put out at a later day and everybody will understand.''
Shanahan wouldn't comment on his level of disappointment with the situation.
``If I did say I was disappointed, it would kind of give you an idea of what I was thinking,'' Shanahan said. ``One (day) I can explain it in more detail. Now is not the time.
``I'm not allowed to do that. Not to go a different direction, I want to tell you the truth, but if I can't tell you the truth about my conversation, why would I get into detail about it?''
While in Tennessee, Henry was suspended four games in September 2005 by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. He would face a long suspension if he failed another drug test.
Henry was scheduled to cycle out of the NFL's drug program on Oct. 1 by virtue of staying clean for two years after his last positive test.
He signed a five-year, $22.5 million free agent contract with the Broncos that included $12 million in guarantees this offseason after the Titans released him in a cost-cutting move. The Broncos sent last year's starter, Tatum Bell, to Detroit.
Henry is on pace to rush for 1,732 yards this season, a number that's in line with his prediction for himself at the beginning of the season.
``I think 1,500 is low for my goal,'' Henry said earlier this season. ``I think the sky's the limit for me.''
Henry finished with 131 yards on 26 carries against Indianapolis despite suffering ankle and knee injuries in the second half. He walked around the locker room Friday with both wrapped in ice after participating on a limited basis in practice.
``I felt great,'' Henry said. ``I got a majority of the snaps so my mind-set is I'm going Sunday.''
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