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Career derailment 'haunts' Travis Henry

By Tim Graham

Travis Henry will turn 34 years old in October and hasn't played an NFL down in five years. He has been in prison for cocaine trafficking.

But Henry, once a dominant running back for the Buffalo Bills, wants to play again. Formerly incarcerated stars Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress are Henry's inspiration for gridiron redemption.

"In my time away, people would know who I was and talk in a disappointed way like I threw away my career," Henry told Pascoe Tribune correspondent Andy Villamarzo in New Port Richey, Fla. "It just haunts me when I think about it. I see guys like Vick and Burress and say 'Why can't that be me?' "

Henry already has filed his NFL paperwork and has been reinstated to play as long as a team is willing to sign him.

Henry has a bunch of reasons to get back to work. By last reported count, Henry has 11 kids with 10 women. Twins ruined his one-and-done streak with children Nos. 10 and 11. ESPN reported he owned $17,000 a month in child support in 2009.

He's working with local trainer Rob Oppedisano to try to find a semblance of NFL form.

In 2002 and 2003 for Buffalo, he rushed for 2,794 yards and 23 touchdowns and added 71 catches for 467 yards and two TDs.

''People make mistakes,'' Henry said. ''It's what you do after to get back up. I just want to show young kids that people make mistakes and you can get up and you can fight. You can't ever let anyone tell you 'You can't' because, trust me, a lot people told me that being reinstated was going to be impossible."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |