A Year Later, Henderson Is Back On Top – Again

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 3, 2010 – 11:12 am

E.J. Henderson will lead the Vikings defense against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, just a day shy of the 1-year anniversary of his season-ending leg injury from last year. It was on December 6, 2009 against the Arizona Cardinals when Henderson suffered a fractured femur, an injury that some thought could end the veteran’s career.

“From everything I was told when the injury occurred and the rarity of guys coming back and playing and how infrequent that injury occurs in football, everything I heard was grim,” Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Thursday. “The fact that he ended up starting in our New Orleans game (season-opener), I was as surprised as anybody and he’s gotten better and better as the year has gone on.”

The fact that Henderson not only made it back to the field but has also re-assumed his role as a playmaker and the heart of the defense is a tribute to his resiliency. Those of us who’ve been around Henderson for most of his career have seen him transition from an underachieving 2nd-round pick to a team leader. We’ve seen him transition from a disconnected teammate to the Vikings Community Man of the Year.

But now, with his injury and subsequent rehab and comback occurring on a national stage, others are noticing the same transition. Ultimately, the transition has resulted in Henderson becoming a person and a player who embodies what it means to be a Viking.

E.J. Henderson

Henderson currently leads all NFL LBs in INTs with 3 and he also registered a sack last week in Washington, his first sack since November 22 of last year. In 2008 Henderson suffered a season-ending foot injury and some wondered if he’d ever return to form. He clearly had last season, ranking as the team’s leading tackler at the time of the leg injury in Arizona. Then some doubted he’d be able to recover from the leg injury. With those 3 INTs, a forced fumble and numerous other splash plays this season, he clearly has.

“We’re so accustomed to seeing him make those splash plays on a repeated basis, and I think he’s right where he needs to be in order to make that happen the rest of the way, as evidenced by what happened on Sunday,” Frazier said. “It should be good for the rest of our football team as the year goes on.

“And I still can’t believe he’s doing what he’s doing. None of us thought that even now he’d be out there.”

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “A Year Later, Henderson Is Back On Top – Again”

  1. By DRS on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    E.J. Henderson is the type of player we need on this team. I keep asking myself why we keep players on the team who will not or cannot play.

  2. By DRS on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    Why don’t all the players on the Vikings have the hart of E.J. Hedersoan? He who plays for the good of the team, and the betterment of hinself. Why do we keep them players who play for themself and the money? We need to dratf and by free agency get more like him.

  3. By xvike on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t know what you are talking about DRS. EJ might have more heart than others on the team but that doesn’t mean the rest of the players don’t. If someone is injured and can’t play, then they can’t play. It’s not their fault. I’m sure that if a player gets injured, he wants more than anybody, to get back out there on the field to play. But if his injury restricts him from playing, then there’s nothing he can do about it until it heals. There are only a few that i can think of who really have no heart and does not give it their all on the field on this team. But other than that, no one on this team is really only looking to play only for the money. There is no chris johnson, darrel revis, or vincent jackson on this team.

  4. By DRS on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    Xvike It seems to me that there were some players this season that have not played up to their ability. They seem to lack the will to win in the face of diversity. I do not blame anyone who gets seriously hurt for not playing, but them who get a booboo. Well that is another thing. I question slightly why Rice took so long to come back and play.

  5. By DRS on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    And I am not saying Rice had just a booboo.

  6. By Conner on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    DRS At the end of the off-season workouts when Rice still couldn’t run or do activities with the team, why did he wait until August to get the surgery? If I were the Vikings, I’d take that into consideration on contract negotiation. If your not making steady progress with therapy. Come June 1, get it fixed or get lost.

  7. By Robins on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    The Vikings should have told Sidney to get his surgery earlier so he could play the whole year. I am sure Brett expected to have him to pass to. It is amazing how Henderson has played so well after such a serious injury. Henderson, Brett, and Percy have all been amazing with their injuries. They all have heart and play hard for their team. Last weeks game looked different. Play hard again Vikings and win. It is nice seeing you all laughing again!

  8. By Daniel on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    Great to read this, good for him & for the team

  9. By Syd on Dec 3, 2010 | Reply

    E.J always plays his best no matter what. I loved how he made that awesome leap to intercept the ball during last weeks game, he could have let it go but he showed great athletic ability.
    Syd from Honolulu

  10. By Lito on Dec 4, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you EJ for your example, a true champion. Other players should emulate his example of leadership, hard work, determination, and effort to be the best. No injury excuses, please, Vikings. Play what you got and the others including the rookies should step up.
    Is it really hard for the coaching staff to design a single play for Joe Webb? Toby did a good job. How about the others. Berrian, when will you shine?

  11. By BB on Dec 4, 2010 | Reply


  12. By SIS on Dec 4, 2010 | Reply

    Love EJ’s drive and determination! Would also like to see more of the younger guys like Toby!! We need to let him show what he can do… Still love AP, but shake it up with Toby too!

  13. By Bryan on Dec 4, 2010 | Reply

    I’ll be watching E.J. putting the hurt on Spiller, Fitzpatrick, crybaby Johnson and co. at the Dome tommorrow, SKOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. By VikingsDx3 on Dec 5, 2010 | Reply

    How is there only 14 comments for this article? EJ deserves a 1,000 at least. Must have put out that IR list pretty quickly after this I suppose.

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