The Vikings might have lost more than a game on Sunday.
Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson
was wearing a protective boot after dislocating several toes on his left foot, according to coach Brad Childress.
Henderson was hurt in the second quarter of the Vikings' 30-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. He went to plant on his foot on a third-down run when he suffered the injury. Henderson left the game but was able to return late in the quarter. He also was on the field at the beginning of the second half but eventually had to come out.
Henderson underwent an MRI on Monday. "We don't have any idea of his ongoing status until we're able to research that a little more with the doctors," Childress said.
Childress said Henderson's injury is "unusual." There would appear to be a real chance Henderson won't be able to play Monday night against the Saints in New Orleans.
"He kind of posted on it and bent on it and was kind of bracing on it," Childress said. "Whatever happened, happened in there. He didn't have anybody fall on him or anything like that. Kind of an unusual kind of injury."
Henderson's loss would be a significant one for the 1-3 Vikings. Henderson led Minnesota in tackles with 31 entering last Sunday's game. He was replaced Sunday by first-year player David Herron
WR Bernard Berrian on the Vikings' four turnovers that led to 21 points for the Titans on Sunday: "You can't do it. You can't turn the ball over that many times, especially on your own side of the field. You do that and you're making it way too hard on the defense. You shoot yourself in the foot when you put yourself in those situations."
RB Adrian Peterson also said "turnovers were the key" to the loss. "If you take the turnovers away it is a different ballgame," Peterson said. "We might be in here celebrating right now. You just can't have turnovers." Peterson had one of the turnovers, losing a fumble deep in his own territory in the second quarter.
C Matt Birk is trying to stay positive despite the Vikings' 1-3 start. "We have plenty of games left. In the big picture, there's a long way to go in this thing. There are times we've played well and times we haven't. Good teams get better as the season goes on, and that's what is important. We need to learn from the mistakes we've made and the failures we've had and get better. It's still September, and good football teams continue to improve all through the year." The Vikings have not started a season 1-4 since Mike Tice was head coach in 2002.
LT Bryant McKinnie returned to the Vikings on Monday after being suspended by the NFL for the first four weeks of the season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. Childress said the Vikings have asked the NFL for a roster exemption for one week so the team can keep 54 players. As for McKinnie, Childress said "he looks to be in great shape and good spirits."
LB Vinny Ciurciu did not play Sunday because of an injury to his left knee and it remains to be seen if he will be able to go Monday night against the New Orleans Saints.
WR Sidney Rice was active Sunday after missing the previous week's game because of a knee injury. Rice, though, was limited in how much he could do and had only one catch for 6 yards.
DE Ray Edwards was held out of Sunday's game because of a shoulder injury but isn't expected to be out long term. Edwards' injury enabled Otis Grigsby to start at left end. Brian Robison, the backup to Pro Bowl right end Jared Allen, also shifted to the left for several snaps.
QB Gus Frerotte was forced from Sunday's game late in the fourth quarter after suffering a laceration on his left (non-throwing) hand that required stitches. Frerotte said he will be fine to play against New Orleans.
Linebacker E.J. Henderson tried to play through an injury Sunday that was diagnosed as dislocated toes. His status for the Vikings' Monday night game at New Orleans isn't known yet.
Linebacker E.J. Henderson tried to play through an injury that was diagnosed as dislocated toes.
E.J. Henderson (Paul Jasienski/Getty)