The Bengals got a one-week roster exemption for Henry, who will be allowed to practice with the team but doesn't have to be added to the active roster. The Bengals would have to get rid of a player to make room for him.
Cincinnati is 0-4 heading into a game at Dallas on Sunday. To play against former West Virginia teammate Adam "Pacman" Jones, Henry would have to be added to the roster by Saturday.
Both Henry and Jones were drafted in 2005 and have been in trouble repeatedly, factoring into commissioner Roger Goodell's decision to toughen the league's conduct policy. Henry has been suspended three times by the league.
Henry was allowed to practice with the Bengals near the end of his eight-game suspension last season, and the team activated him as soon as possible. This time, he wasn't allowed to practice with the team during the suspension. Coach Marvin Lewis wants to find out whether he's in shape to play.
"It's a little different," Lewis said. "Last year he was given the ability to practice with us for a couple weeks at the end of the suspension, so it's a completely different situation."
The Bengals released Henry in the offseason after his fifth arrest. Lewis said publicly that he didn't want the troubled receiver on his team, but owner Mike Brown brought him back anyway, undercutting his head coach.