Henry tests positive for banned substance, faces ban

Updated: November 3, 2007, 5:03 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Titans rookie halfback Chris Henry has been notified he faces a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance.

Official notification is expected to be received Saturday, and Henry will have five days to decide if he wishes to appeal. Any appeal would delay the suspension until tests are verified and determined if they are valid.

According to a source, the substance is not considered performance enhancing and a year ago was not on the banned list. Henry, 22, apparently took a prescription medication that contained a component included on the NFL's list of banned substances.

The NFLPA and the NFL add new substances each year.

The pending suspension, first reported by The NFL Network, was confirmed by two league sources on Friday night. Henry's agents Steve Feldman and Josh Luchs were unavailable for comment.

The timing of the suspension isn't good for the Titans. Backup running back Chris Brown has been battling an ankle injury that could keep him out of Sunday's game against the Panthers. Starting running back LenDale White has a minor toe injury. Henry has been getting more playing time because of Brown's injury.

The 40th overall choice in the draft, Henry has appeared in only two games, and has rushed for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. He also has two receptions for 12 yards.

A former University of Arizona standout, Henry did not play in the Titans' first five games. But he saw action in each of the last two games and was productive in both contests, rushing for 57 yards on 11 carries in an Oct. 21 win over Houston and for 48 yards on four attempts in a victor over Oakland on Oct. 28.

Henry scored touchdowns in both games and, given his solid performances, figured to have his playing time expanded in coming weeks.

Despite starting only six games in college, and rushing for less than 1,000 yards in his three seasons, Henry saw his draft stock skyrocket with strong workouts in his auditions for NFL scouts before the draft. At the combine workouts, he was clocked at 4.40 seconds in the 40-yard dash and that quickly drew the attention of talent evaluators.

For his college career, he carried only 269 times for 892 yards and nine touchdowns. He signed a four-year, $2.89 million contract with the Titans and the deal included a signing bonus of $1.23 million.

In an unrelated matter, the league announced the Titans defensive end Travis LaBoy has been fined $5,000 for a personal foul penalty in last week's game against Oakland. The fine stemmed from a fourth-quarter play in which LaBoy sacked quarterback Daunte Culpepper for a seven-yard loss, but dragged him down by the facemask, drawing a 15-yard penalty.

ESPN.com football writers Len Pasquarelli and John Clayton contributed to this report.