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With Crohn's disease under control, Seantrel Henderson impressing at Bills camp

PITTSFORD -- The future of Seantrel Henderson's football career has truly become a 24-hour struggle.

As he adjusts to living with Crohn's disease, it's not enough for Henderson to simply report each day for practice and film study. He has to work just as hard to maintain the weight needed to play offensive line in the NFL.

"I have a meal plan," Henderson said after a recent training camp practice at St. John Fisher College. "Meats and greens every day, protein shakes, a lot of fruit. As long as I keep gulping up a lot of everything, and getting my calories in, I'm good to go. I can keep my weight up."

At his lowest weight after being diagnosed, Henderson dropped to 280 pounds. He weighs 345 today -- a testament to how hard he's worked.

"I feel real good," he said. "I haven't had any complications, so I'm doing pretty well. It's all about eating foods that you can eat. The diet you have to be on, certain acidic foods you can't eat. Staying on a good diet, eating healthy, eating enough, and hydrating enough. It's a daily thing for me."

The work is paying off, too. Henderson has mixed in with the starters at left tackle as the team monitors Cordy Glenn's workload.

"He’s done a nice job," coach Sean McDermott said Tuesday before the Bills hit the practice field. "He’s one of the guys that has moved in to rotate with some 'ones' from time to time. It’s all part of the competition, as well. I like how he’s handled it – certainly a good athlete. The progression, the development with Seantrel continues. We know what he’s dealt with off the field at times and so that’s part of developing the overall player."

McDermott credited strength and conditioning coach Eric Ciano and trainer Shone Gipson for developing a plan that would to allow Henderson to resume his playing career -- which was no sure thing after he went through a pair of surgeries related to his disease.

"Just come out here and be the same guy every day," Henderson said of how he's approaching camp. "Do the right things. Be on time. Take care of my job -- get my lift in, keep my cardio up, keep my weight up -- do everything I'm supposed to do as a player."

Unfortunately for Henderson, the start to his 2017 season will be delayed as he still has to serve the remaining five games of a 10-game suspension he was hit with during the 2016 season. That suspension came because of his use of marijuana that he says was to treat his disease.

"It's something I have to deal with," Henderson said. "Miss the first five games, come back, see what's on the table for me to keep helping the team. That's just how it has to go for me right now.

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