During his weekly appearance on Sirius NFL Radio Tuesday, Vikings head coach Brad Childress said that linebacker E.J. Henderson
should be returning to the Twin Cities today following surgery to repair his broken left femur.
Childress said he spoke with Henderson Monday and said, considering the circumstances, he is in good spirits.
"He's a trooper from that standpoint," Childress said. "He's already got his mind set on the next thing. He's a very directed guy. I know he's not happy, but he's strong.
For a second straight year, Henderson will have to begin a long process of rehabilitation. Last year, he played just four games before suffering a freak foot injury in which he broke several small bones in three toes and required surgery. A broken femur for a middle linebacker is likely going to require just as arduous a rehab schedule.
A more accurate timetable will be available when Henderson returns to the Twin Cities, but this is a blow the Vikings defense could ill-afford. With rookie Jasper Brinkley
as the next line of defense, the Vikings will be tested defensively much in the same way they were last year when they lost their defensive captain. It will be a difficult transition, but the show must go on and the Vikings will have to come back from the adversity quickly to maintain the advantage they have built in the NFC over the last three months.
During his Sirius appearance, Childress also hinted that Antoine Winfield may be out another week with his foot injury. Initially expected to miss three to six weeks and given optimism that he could be back for the Nov. 1 game against the Packers, Winfield has been sidelined for seven weeks – missing the last six games.
The Chad Ochocinco soap opera comes to town Sunday and, if he does anything productive, look for his floor show to continue. He was fined $30,000 Tuesday for wearing a sombrero on the sidelines Sunday after scoring a touchdown against Detroit. Ochocinco has a history of ruffling feathers with league officials and it is likely he will have something prepared should he score a touchdown against the Vikings Sunday. He said on his Twitter page that he would grab the Metrodome horn and blow it. That might be tough, considering it is a sound pumped in over the public address system.
The Saints already have one former Viking (Darren Sharper) in their secondary, which became two Tuesday. New Orleans released veteran cornerback Chris McAlister Tuesday and signed former Viking Marcus McCauley.
Yesterday, we passed along word that the Vikings-Panthers would remain as the Sunday night game. The league did tweak the Week 15 schedule, however, moving the Packers-Steelers game and Rams-Titans game from a 1 p.m. ET start to 3:15 p.m.
Former NFL offensive tackle Tony Boselli said on Westwood One's radio coverage of the Vikings-Cardinals game that Bryant McKinnie has a "tell" when the team is going to pass. According to Boselli, McKinnie puts his legs in a different position when he's going to pass protect as opposed to run blocking. Expect the Vikings to be watching a lot of film to see if there is any credence to those comments.
E.J. Henderson could return to Minnesota today, marking the beginning of the healing process after suffering a fractured left femur Sunday night.
E.J. Henderson could return to Minnesota today, marking the beginning of the healing process.
E.J. Henderson (Christian Petersen/Getty)