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ANOTHER BAD BREAK FOR HENRY, THIS TIME IN HIS RIGHT LEG

Losing his starting job was bad enough, but Travis Henry's season took a turn for the worse Sunday.

The backup running back's season, and perhaps his Buffalo Bills career, may be over after he suffered a broken bone in his right leg in the first quarter of the Bills' 38-9 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

After catching a pass out of the backfield, Henry was tackled by Seattle linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski. Henry's leg appeared to roll underneath Kacyvenski as both players fell to the ground.

The Bills didn't give a definitive diagnosis on Henry's condition. Henry was able to play last season with a fractured bone in his leg, but it appears this injury is more severe. Henry was on crutches and his leg was heavily wrapped as he left the stadium.

This has been a tough year for Henry, the Bills' leading rusher the last three seasons. He entered the year as the starter, but he's been relegated to brief appearances as a reserve since Willis McGahee took over as starter six weeks ago.

Henry has been praised by Bills coaches and teammates for handling his demotion with class. That made his injury harder for them to take.

"For him to go down like that, my heart goes out to him," offensive tackle Mike Williams said. "Everybody in this locker room knows how hard Travis works, so it's tough to see something like that happen. But whatever it takes, I know he's going to work hard and he will come back because that's the kind of player he is."

There has been plenty of speculation that Henry won't be in Buffalo after the season. Henry still has one year left on his contract, so the Bills aren't obligated to move him.

But with McGahee firmly entrenched as the Bills' featured running back, Henry probably wouldn't be happy as a little-used backup for another season.

There was some good news for the Bills on the injury front. Left tackle Jonas Jennings hurt his left shoulder in the first quarter but returned for the second half.

"It popped out, but we were able to get it back in and tape it up so I could go back out there and fight with my guys," Jennings said. "You've got to be hell when you're well. Tonight I wasn't well, but I still had to be hell."

Jennings had extra motivation to play against defensive end Grant Wistrom, the Seahawks' big-ticket free agent signee. Wistrom had four tackles but no sacks against Jennings and backup Marcus Price.

"I had a guy making $14 million on the other side of me, so I had to show him what time it was," Jennings said. "You always want to do your best against the best guys in this league. I didn't want to sit out and miss that opportunity."

Place-kicker Rian Lindell had a 25-yard field goal against his former team, but his biggest play was recovering an onside kickoff to open the second half.

"It always is nice to win, but when you can say you helped the cause that's great," said Lindell, who spent his first three NFL seasons with the Seahawks.

There was a huge Bills following in the stands Sunday as Lindell, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, defensive tackle Sam Adams and strong safety Lawyer Milloy have ties to the area and purchased tickets for family and friends.

Lindell is a native of Vancouver, Wash., and played at Washington State. Bledsoe grew up in Walla Walla, Wash., and also played at Washington State. Milloy was born in St. Louis but spent most of his youth in Tacoma, Wash., and starred at the University of Washington. Adams was the Seahawks' first-round draft pick in 1994 and still has a home in Washington.

"This was a business trip for me," Milloy said. "But now that we've got this victory, I can celebrate with my family."

Bledsoe had nearly 200 people in the stands cheering him on.

"There was a whole section up there," he said. "When you get to this point, there are a whole ton of people that have touched my life to get me to where I am. To have a bunch of those people here at the game and to play well in front of them obviously means a lot."

It's official. The AFC East owns the NFC West. The matchup between the two divisions has been incredibly one-sided with the AFC East earning an 11-2 record. By crushing the Seahawks, the Bills matched the 3-0 record shared by the New England Patriots and New York Jets against NFC West teams.

"I think everybody in the Seahawks' division is finding out that the AFC East is a very tough division," Milloy said. "There are some high-powered offenses in (the NFC West), and the one thing you have to do is slow them down."

If not for one fateful play, Bledsoe would have begun his NFL career with the Seahawks. On Sept. 20, 1992, Seahawks cornerback Patrick Hunter intercepted a pass in the end zone with 35 seconds left to preserve a 10-6 victory over New England.

The Seahawks went on to a 2-14 record, which meant they would have the second overall pick in the 1993 draft. The Patriots finished 1-15, thus earning the No. 1 selection. New England took Bledsoe, who has enjoyed a mostly productive 12-year career. Seattle drafted quarterback Rick Mirer, who spent four mostly uneventful years with the Seahawks.

Rookie quarterback J.P. Losman played a couple of series late in the fourth quarter. He completed his only pass, to rookie tight end Tim Euhus for 17 yards. . . . Bledsoe tied John Brodie for 18th place on the NFL career list with his 214th touchdown pass. . . . Cornerback Troy Vincent missed his eighth straight game due to a knee injury. Wide receiver Josh Reed also is still nursing a sore knee, which kept him out for the fourth game in a row. The Bills' healthy inactives were safety Izell Reese, offensive guard Mike Pucillo, defensive tackle Tim Anderson, running back Shaud Williams and offensive tackle Dylan McFarland.
e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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