Posted by Michael David Smith on August 29, 2008, 12:31 p.m. EDT
Last year the NFL made a point of emphasizing the importance of team captains, officially acknowledging them with “C” patches on their jerseys and recognizing the leadership captains provide.

“Team captains are a key element in building team leadership and enhancing communication between players, coaches and management,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said in a statement released by the league. “A perfect example of the benefit of this kind of communication is that the players themselves suggested the concept of re-emphasizing the team captains.”

All in all, the message was clear: Team captains are fine, upstanding men worthy of respect from their teammates, opponents and fans.

So who did the Bengals choose as their captain for last night’s preseason finale?

Chris Henry.

Yes, that Chris Henry, the wide receiver who is about to leave the team for the next month because he’s suspended for the first four games of the regular season for repeated violations of the league’s personal conduct policy. Chick Ludwig of the Dayton Daily News reports that Henry was a captain for last night’s game.

It should be noted that captains for preseason games aren’t necessarily captains for the regular season, and Henry almost certainly won’t be wearing a “C” on his jersey when he returns in Week 5 against the Cowboys. But it does send an odd message that a guy whose inability to get his act together caused him to be suspended for half of the 2007 season, get cut during the 2008 off-season and get suspended for a quarter of the 2008 season was given the honor.

No word on whether the Cowboys have chosen Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson as their captains for the regular season.