PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) Nine months after fearing his career might be over because of Crohn's disease, right tackle Seantrel Henderson lined up at his familiar spot along the Buffalo Bills' offensive line in practice Monday.
''It kind of felt like playing the first game in the league again,'' Henderson said, with sweat pouring off his brow. ''I was a little nervous. I've been out so long.''
By passing his physical earlier in the day, Henderson took the next step in returning to football. Wasting little time in attempting his comeback, Henderson earned practice time with both the Bills starters and second-stringers.
''Very satisfying,'' said Henderson, a Bills starter since his rookie season in 2014. ''My health is fine right now. I don't have any complications.''
Henderson had experienced stomach pains since playing at college at Miami. But he wasn't diagnosed with having inflammatory bowel disease until December, which led to him having two operations on his intestines.
The first operation occurred in January, when doctors removed a section of diseased tissue. In April, he had surgery to have his intestine re-attached.
Henderson lost a significant amount of weight through the process and was cleared by doctors to rejoin the Bills in early June. He opened training camp on the team's active/non-football injury list.
Coach Rex Ryan is impressed with the perseverance Henderson has shown.
''You see how much a guy wants it,'' Ryan said. ''Obviously, you've got major adversity in front of you. But there's only way to do it. And he's got to be the guy that does it. It's great to see.''
Ryan, however, was cautious in discussing when Henderson could be ready to play in a preseason or regular-season game.
''I think it's probably unfair to lay something out there on him, an expectation,'' Ryan said. ''Let's let him get through some of these things and then maybe we'll have a better idea.''
Jordan Mills has taken over the starting job since Henderson was sidelined last season.
NOTES: Starting LG Richie Incognito returned to practice after missing two weeks with bruised ribs. ... RB Mike Gillislee did not practice because he is still being evaluated for a concussion sustained in a 21-0 preseason win over the New York Giants on Saturday. ... Rookie third-string QB Cardale Jones did not practice because he bruised his shoulder against the Giants.
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