It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Henderson family. First, E.J. was lost for the season after breaking his femur. And now, E.J.’s brother Erin, who memorably rode off the field with E.J. after his gruesome injury, has been suspended four games for a violation of the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy.
Henderson, a 2008 draft pick out of Maryland, had played in only one other game this year before suiting up against the Bengals this weekend to fill in on special teams for the injured Karl Paymah. He made his presence felt by recovering a Darius Reynaud fumble at a point when a turnover might’ve given Cincinnati hope.
And now he will spend the rest of the regular season, and the Vikings‘ first playoff game, watching from the sidelines, without being paid.
The last Viking to be suspended for such a violation was Ray Edwards, who missed four games in 2007. Of course, Kevin and Pat Williams had been set to be suspended last season for taking a banned substance, but the courts intervened, and those players have still not been punished for that particular incident (nor does it look like they ever will).
Henderson’s loss will not affect the linebacker rotation, but does leave Brad Childress with one less option on special teams, in the event of an injury. Can you say “dumb ass?”