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HENRY THINKS DUELS WITH TOP BACKS ARE JUST GRAND

What do Kansas City's Priest Holmes, Miami's Ricky Williams, the Jets' Curtis Martin and Chicago's Anthony Thomas have in common? If you said they each rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, you'd be right.

Here's another answer:

Each was outplayed this season in head-to-head matchups against Bills running back Travis Henry.

Henry outrushed Holmes, the NFL's reigning rushing champion, 126 yards to 104. Henry topped Williams, 132-97, and edged Thomas, 68-48.

Henry owned a prohibitive yardage advantage over Martin (149 yards to six) in the previous meeting, though Martin didn't play in the second half because of a sprained ankle. Martin will be close to full strength when the Jets host the Bills today.

The Bills have faced five backs that gained more than 1,000 yards a year ago, and only New England's Antowain Smith (111 yards) got the best of Henry (53).

Henry relishes the opportunity to play against the premier running backs in the league.

"It's a challenge," he said. "I follow the backs throughout the league and each week I'm competing, whether it is Priest or Curtis or Antowain. Week in and week out, I'm just going out and trying to compete and show my talent."

Williams said that tight end Brady McDonnell will be on the active roster today and is expected to play on special teams. The Bills like to have three tight ends for games. They released Corey Geason earlier this week.

It will be McDonnell's first NFL game. He has spent all season on the practice squad. The former defensive lineman from Colorado signed with the New York Giants last year, but spent the season on the injured reserve list because of a knee injury.

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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