Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson (50) celebrates the win against the Washington Redskins at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Erin Henderson isn’t a very happy camper these days. The team relieved him of his duties at middle linebacker after youngster Audie Cole earned the starting job. Over the course of the last two games, Henderson has only been a part of just 20 total defensive plays.
"Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier (right) and linebacker Erin Henderson (50) embrace at the end of the NFL International Series game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Steelers 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports“It was almost kind of boring, honestly,” Henderson said. “You go from being in the middle of everything and being in the mix all the time and being on the field all the downs to going back to playing the Will, which is not a glorious position at all by any stretch of the imagination. You’re coming off the field a lot of times with the nickel situations. It’s kind of been hard for me, a little tough.”"
An injury to Cole has thrust Henderson back into the starting role on Sunday for the team’s season finale against the Detroit Lions. Although this will be another opportunity for Erin to show that he can do the job well, it may not be enough for the team to see Cole or even a draft pick or free agent as the Vikings starting middle linebacker next year.
"“I think I’m more than capable of getting the job done,” Henderson said. “We’ll see what happens with everything and how it plays out."
Henderson has one more year on his contract with the Vikings and is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 season.