A return from injury by Erin Henderson and a new injury for Marvin Mitchell could result in a small roster shuffle at LB for the Vikings on Sunday. Solid play in all phases of the game by Jasper Brinkley and solid depth behind Henderson and Mitchell will allow the Vikings defense to overcome the hurdles, though.
Henderson, who missed the past two games because of a concussion, was limited in practice on Wednesday but was a full participant on Thursday and Friday. He was listed as questionable for the Vikings on their final injury report. Mitchell, who has dealt with an ankle injury all season, also injured his calf during Wednesday’s practice. He was limited in work on Thursday, did not practice on Friday and is listed as doubtful on the final injury report.
While meeting with reporters on Friday after practice, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier intimated that Henderson will be able to play today, which is big news because of Mitchell’s expected absence. Even with Henderson back, though, expect both Audie Cole and Tyrone McKenzie to be active for the game.
The key to the whole picture, though, is the solid play from Brinkley, especially in the Vikings nickel package. Brinkley has displayed marked improvement in pass coverage, which has allowed the team to put Brinkley in its nickel package as the “MIKE” LB in place of Henderson, the team’s regular starter in that package.
“Yeah we’re going to keep Jasper at the nickel mike for the time being,” Frazier said. “He’s done a good job there. Give Erin a chance to kind of get his legs back under him and then we’ll revisit it later on. Jasper has done a good job so we have a lot of confidence in what he’s accomplished so far.”
Tags: Erin Henderson, Jasper Brinkley, Leslie Frazier, Marvin Mitchell
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