The Vikings almost certainly will be without middle linebacker E.J. Henderson
for Monday night's game at New Orleans.
Henderson suffered two dislocated toes on his left foot in the second quarter of the Vikings' loss Sunday at Tennessee and was wearing a protective boot Thursday. He returned to the game late in the half after being hurt and played into the third quarter but eventually had to come out.
, a second-year player from Michigan State
who was active for two games with the Vikings last season, replaced Henderson. Herron had started Sunday after Henderson was benched for the opening series of the game, reportedly for being late to a team meeting.
Coach Brad Childress said Henderson still has significant swelling. "We're still trying to get the swelling down in that thing," Childress said. "It's swollen pretty good. He's (got treatment) over the weekend through Wednesday. The swelling is tough coming down. It's hard making all the evaluations you need to make until the swelling comes down where you can really put your hands on it and move it around. At this point in time it's a little too painful for that."
Childress said the coaches have confidence in Herron, who played about 30 snaps against Tennessee and collected three tackles.
"You really have to have the mentality in this thing — not that you'll never make a move for somebody if you have an injury — but you have the mentality that other people step up," Childress said. "We're not the lone ranger in the National Football League with guys getting nicked or injured or lost for a short period or long period of time. It's truly a war of attrition. That's why you have a 53-man roster."
LT Bryant McKinnie returned to the Vikings after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. It's not clear if McKinnie or Artis Hicks will start Monday night against the Saints in New Orleans. Hicks replaced McKinnie for the first four games of the season. They both got snaps with the first team during Thursday's practice.
S Madieu Williams, who was sidelined early in training camp by a neck injury, continues to participate in practice on a limited basis but isn't expected to return until the end of the month.
TE Jim Kleinsasser missed practice Thursday because of a foot injury and it's not clear if he will be able to play Monday night.
WR Sidney Rice was limited in practice because of a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Rice was injured in Week 2 against the Colts. He missed the following game and then was used on a very limited basis last week against Tennessee.
DE Ray Edwards, who did not play Sunday against the Titans because of a shoulder injury, was limited in practice Thursday.
LB Vinny Ciurciu was limited Thursday because of a knee injury suffered in Week 3 against Carolina. Ciurciu did not play last Sunday against the Titans. His absence not only affects the Vikings' depth at linebacker but also hurts the special teams.
Linebacker E.J. Henderson is still wearing a boot and has significant swelling surrounding two dislocated toes. The evidence suggests he's unlikely to play Monday night.
Linebacker E.J. Henderson is still wearing a boot and has significant swelling surrounding his toes.
E.J. Henderson (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)