CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cincinnati Bengals wide 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. Fey had no information on Henry's condition but said the receiver 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 didn't 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.
"We are aware he was in an accident and that his injuries are very serious," Brennan said. "We are obviously staying in touch with the situation and are ready to offer whatever assistance we can."
Henry is in the final year of his contract with the Bengals, who let him go after his fifth arrest following the 2007 season. Bengals owner Mike Brown then brought Henry 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 had fans rooting for him.
In an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer in October, Henry credited his fiancee for helping him straighten out his life, saying: "She's been a big help. She's been right here with me and going through things and helping out on my side. We have the kids, and she has my back with everything I've needed."
From the start, Henry's career has been sidetracked by off-the-field problems.
Henry repeatedly got in trouble at West Virginia, where former Mountaineers coach Rich Rodriguez told him that he was an embarrassment to himself and the program.
Most NFL teams shied away from Henry in the 2005 draft. The Bengals were the only one that brought him in for a visit and warned him that he had to stay out of trouble if he was going to make it in the NFL. Then they drafted him in the third round.
Henry's rookie season also marked the beginning of his problems in the NFL. He was arrested for marijuana possession in December 2005, and again on a weapons charge one month later in Florida. He was arrested four times in all, drawing repeated suspensions -- two games in 2006, the first half of the 2007 season -- for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.
After serving a four-game suspension to start the 2008 season, Henry returned to the Bengals and caught 19 passes in the last 12 games, becoming an afterthought in the offense. He spent the offseason getting in shape and working out so he could become a top receiver again. He impressed coaches and teammates with his newfound determination to resurrect his career.
Before the start of the season, Henry got a tattoo that said "Blessed" below his left ear, a reminder that he has been given plenty of extra chances.
"I don't live the way I did in the past," Henry said in an interview with The Associated Press during training camp. "I kind of plan my days out and take it one day at a time and stay away from the wrong people. I'm not partying anymore. I'm just focused on football right now and my family. I don't associate with the same people. I've completely changed everything."
A thigh injury limited Henry early this season. He had 12 catches for 236 yards and two touchdowns before he broke his arm.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press