Favre Returns, Vikings Lose; But Henderson Is The Story

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 23, 2010 – 7:38 am

If you’re a big enough Vikings fan to be on this site and reading this blog, you’re surely aware that the Vikings lost to the San Francisco 49ers last night by a count of 15-10, dropping their 2010 preseason record to 1-1 and also concluding the road trip portion of the preseason schedule.

So you’re also aware that QB Brett Favre made his return, played 1 series, completed a nice pass to Adrian Peterson on the 1st play and then took a smashing hit from LB Patrick Willis on a sack just 2 plays later. That was basically it for Favre…there was a lot of standing around after that for most of the 1st-team players.

But with all of the hype and build-up of Favre’s return to the field, it was actually the return to the field AND performance of another Vikings player that stole the show in my eyes. Middle LB E.J. Henderson was back on the field for the 1st time since injuring his leg in Arizona late last season.

Henderson has aggressively rehabbed his injury all offseason and then looked great in training camp, even drawing rave reviews from Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress. But then he didn’t play in the Vikings 1st preseason game, which caused me to temper my enthusiasm a bit regarding #56.

After watching him play on Sunday night, my enthusiasm is back. Henderson looked like the old E.J., tallying 7 tackles in just 1 quarter. One of those tackles was for a loss, and the play was the exact type of play Henderson made regularly before injuring his leg; he knifed through the backfield and swept his arm across the legs of 49ers RB Anthony Dixon to trip him up before he got back to the line of scrimmage.

I think Henderson’s performance will remain a “below the radar” thing because of the sensationalism of Favre’s return. But I also think that’s how E.J. wants it.

For now.

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