The Vikings have won 2 games without linebacker Erin Henderson in the line-up. They handled the Detroit Lions‘ passing attack pretty well Sunday with Jasper Brinkley in nickel instead of Erin. So this probably creates a little more urgency in Erin’s mind to get back on the field. He can feel himself becoming more expendable with each passing week.
Unfortunately, concussions are serious things. As of Wednesday’s practice Erin was still not cleared for full participation and Leslie Frazier says there are still “hurdles” for Henderson to get over before he will be allowed to play against Tennessee. It sounds like the Vikings will play their third straight game without Henderson.
The linebacker admitted frustration in a media session before practice Wednesday. “It is a little bit different than anything I’ve ever had to deal with in my life,” Henderson said. ”Typically, when you are injured or you’re dealing with things, you are trying to get better, doing your rehab, doing whatever it takes to get back on the field. But when you’re dealing with something like this it is a completely different animal.
“The biggest thing is just to rest and take your time and come back when you feel like you can be a help to the team and an asset and not a liability to anybody including yourself.”
Henderson says watching the team win has made it easier to cope. “To get those two games with me out, it was huge for me, helped me out a lot,” he said. “It made a little easier for me to deal with, to bear.”
And Jasper Brinkley’s play in nickel against Detroit made it easier for the Vikings to deal with life without Henderson. The middle linebacker played his best game as a pro, notching ten tackles while showing improving coverage skills. Hurry back Erin or you’ll find yourself relegated to two down duty. Which might actually be for the best.
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