The mystery of Erin Henderson’s “personal issue,” an issue that kept him out of Sunday’s game against Green Bay, has been solved. That personal issue it turns out was a DWI arrest.
Henderson reportedly was popped for DWI last Tuesday after blowing a 0.11 during a traffic stop. Henderson is claiming the cops had no probable cause to force him to submit to a test and is currently suing the state of Minnesota to get back his driver’s license.
This is the third arrest of a Vikings player in the span of several weeks. Jerome Simpson was nailed for DWI a couple weeks back and was benched for that weekend’s game but not suspended. Just days ago A.J. Jefferson was arrested for domestic assault and immediately released by the team.
The circumstances of Henderson’s case are unusual in that the nature of the issue was not revealed for a full week. Usually the media are all over these things but in this case no one knew until Henderson’s suit was entered in court.
What happens now with Henderson? It’s unlikely the Vikings would cut him or otherwise take official disciplinary action. They cut Jefferson because he was not a vital cog in their machine, but Henderson is an important player and a long-time veteran leader who has a lot of respect in the locker room and among coaches.
The question that needs to be asked now is a big picture one about the whole direction of the Vikings organization and the culture that exists there. A team with three arrests in less than a month is naturally going to come under fire for a lack of discipline. When that team also happens to be 2-8-1 on the field? The coach and GM are going to come under even more intense scrutiny.
It seems the Vikings’ efforts to emphasize character in their organization are failing. What will Zygi Wilf do about this? We’ll see.