One of the most pleasant developments for me during 2010 Verizon Vikings Training Camp has been the play from LB E.J. Henderson, who participates regularly with the 1st team defense and has continued his aggressive comeback from a serious leg injury that he suffered near the end of last season.
Henderson told Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress months ago that he was going to “change the protocol with the way this injury is rehabilitated” and to this point I’d have to think the LB is right. He’s had a terrific camp and he continues to participate more and more, instead of taking 2 steps forward and then 1 step back on his way to recovery.
During a Tuesday morning appearance on AM 1130 KFAN’s Power Trip Morning Show, I was asked my opinion on whether or not Henderson would suit up on Saturday evening against the St. Louis Rams in the Vikings 1st presesaon contest. Because of the severity of Henderson’s injury, his importance to the Vikings defense and the lack of importance of a preseason game, I speculated that perhaps the Vikings will sit Henderson in this initial preseason game.
Now I’m beginning to second-guess myself.
During Tuesday afternoon’s practice, Henderson made the play of the day during a short-yardage period. The team was practicing a 4th-and-1 scenario with the 1st team offense going against the 1st team defense. The play call was an Adrian Peterson run up the gut to try and pick up the 1st down. Henderson knifed through the offensive line and dove into the backfield, where he was able to wrap up Peterson for a 1-yard loss and force a turnover on downs.
Henderson immediately bounced up after the play and the rest of the defense rushed up to the LB to give him high-fives and pats on the helmet. It was a great moment to witness and something all Vikings hope to see more of in 2010.
I don’t know the ins and outs of Henderson’s rehab, but plays like that indicate to me that he’s getting close to playing form. Whether he plays or not on Saturday, I’m not sure. And assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said a determination on that hasn’t been made yet.
“He (Henderson) did more today than he has prior,” Frazier said on Monday when asked if Henderson would play this weekend. “He continues to surprise us with what he is able to take. We will just continue to monitor him the rest of this week and then make a determination at the end of the week.”
Tags: E.J. Henderson, Leslie Frazier
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